COVID-19 update for Oct. 19: Vaccine mandate ordered for B.C. pharmacists | Survey reveals impact of COVID-19 on people with heart disease or stroke

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 19, 2021.

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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Oct. 18:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 198,278 (4,917 active)
• New cases since Oct. 14: 1,846 (753/650/443)
• Total deaths: 2,081 (26 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 360
• Intensive care: 151
• Total vaccinations: 4,133,755 received first dose; 3,865,096 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 190,918
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 22

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IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

B.C. health officials expected to provide an update on COVID-19

The province’s top health officials are holding a news conference Tuesday 1:30 p.m. for its regular COVID-19 update.

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Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will be in attendance.

On Monday, B.C. announced there were 1,846 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend (753 on Friday; 650 on Saturday; and 443 on Sunday).

There are 4,917 active cases, of which 360 are being treated in hospital including 151 in intensive care. These numbers are relatively stable. The B.C. Ministry of Health reported 26 deaths over the past three days.

Survey reveals impact of COVID-19 on people with heart disease or stroke

People living with heart disease or stroke have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Heart & Stroke, found that more than 80 per cent of health professionals and researchers said that delays in diagnosis and treatment due to pandemic-related disruptions have led to poorer health outcomes.

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Health workers and researchers are concerned that patients at risk of or living with heart disease or stroke were not always able to access the care they needed during the pandemic. A previous survey of people with heart disease or stroke found that two out of three report having at least a medical appointment cancelled or delayed during the pandemic.

The pandemic has also affected heart and brain health research, slowing down recruitment and ongoing trials due to public health measures, found the survey. Some researchers were also diverted from their work to help care for COVID-19 patients.

More than half of the health professionals also reported concerns about a decrease in cardiovascular health in people who did not have existing conditions before the pandemic.

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The Heart & Stroke survey was conducted by Environics Research with 370 health professionals between Aug. 16 to Sept. 7.

Vaccine mandate ordered for all registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in B.C.

Emily McIntosh manages a rural pharmacy in Castlegar and has been frustrated with the lack of uniform rules for B.C. pharmacists and technicians being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to serve customers.

One major chain, London Drugs, made it clear in late August that by Nov. 1 all its employees, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, would be required to be fully vaccinated.

But there was nothing in place at many small, independent drug stores, nor at other large chains such as Loblaw Companies, which owns Shoppers Drug Mart.

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“We have many elderly people coming in. We have those plastic barriers and things like that. But sometimes you have to go out and help them find a product, so there goes the barrier,” said McIntosh.

“And sometimes if someone is asking a question and they can’t hear, and you have to lean in, it’s impossible to create the physical distancing.”

On Monday, the College of Pharmacists provided the clarity that McIntosh was looking for, saying all registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will have to be fully vaccinated, have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or have an exemption to continue working.

The college said its statement was based on an order by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry late last week.

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Read more HERE .

— Joanne Lee-Young

City of Vancouver and Grouse Mountain join growing list of mandatory vaccination sites

The number of mandatory vaccination orders in place to access venues or keep your job in B.C. continues to grow, with Grouse Mountain and the City of Vancouver releasing their plans on Monday.

Mayor of Vancouver Kennedy Stewart said that all city workers will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses) by Dec. 6, 2021 or they will not be allowed in the workplace.

“Vancouver has one of the highest vaccination rates, making us one of the world’s safest cities as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stewart said in a prepared statement. The City of Vancouver has a vaccination rate in those aged 12 and over of 90 per cent, compared to the provincial 83.4 per cent.

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The City of Vancouver has around 8,000 full-time and part-time employees and is the first municipality in B.C. to make such an order.

Meanwhile on Monday, Grouse Mountain revealed all workers and guests will need to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15, 2021.

The North Vancouver ski resort will have a one-time vaccine verification process for pass-holders, while people on day passes will need to show proof of vaccination (B.C. Vaccine Card) each visit.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has already made it mandatory for any hospital or long-term care facility worker to be fully vaccinated but she does not have the power to make orders in non-health workplaces.

However, at her suggestion, B.C. Hydro two weeks ago mandated vaccination for all its workers at the Site C dam project where there had been two COVID-19 outbreaks. B.C. Ferries has also mandated vaccination in its workers, but not passengers.

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Read more HERE .

— David Carrigg


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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