COVID-19 update for Oct. 25: Olympians to be tested daily in Beijing | B.C. lifting some COVID-19 restrictions today | U.S. to outline Nov. 8 reopening

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. 25, 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. 22:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 200,898 (5,106 active)
• New cases since Oct. 21: 649
• Total deaths: 2,109 (13 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 365 (down by 12 patients)
• Intensive care: 143 (up by seven patients)
• Total vaccinations: 4,145,426 received first dose; 3,891,058 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 193,325
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 25 (Outbreak at Cooper Place has been declared over)

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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.

U.S. to outline Nov. 8 international travel reopening

The Biden administration plans to unveil detailed rules on Monday requiring nearly all foreign air visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting Nov. 8, sources told Reuters.

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The White House first disclosed on Sept. 20 it would remove restrictions in early November for fully vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries.

– Reuters

Beijing Games competitors to face daily COVID-19 tests, remain in closed loop

Competitors in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be subject to daily tests for COVID-19 and will be required to remain in a closed loop that includes transport between the various games venues, organizers said in guidelines released on Monday.

China, where measures to tackle COVID-19 are among the world’s strictest, has already said international spectators will not be allowed to enter the country for the Games which will run from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20.

China has all-but shut its borders to international travellers, with the number of international flights drastically reduced from pre-COVID levels, and games organizers said on Monday that domestic and foreign airlines will be encouraged to operate temporary flights available only to participants.

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Games participants will need to be tested for COVID-19 before arrival, and athletes and team officials must be vaccinated to avoid 21 days in quarantine, with some exceptions for medical reasons granted on a case-by-case basis.

“We want everyone at the Games to be safe, that’s why we’re asking all participants to follow these guidelines,” IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said in a statement.

– Reuters

Parents more hesitant to vaccinate kids than themselves: Researcher

Jennifer Hubert jumped at the opportunity to get her COVID-19 vaccine, but she’s not looking forward to having to make the decision about whether to vaccinate her three-year-old son Jackson.

She recognizes the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, but said she also understands her son is at a much lower risk for serious illness than older adults.

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“To me it’s not a clear benefit,” she said.

While many parents were overjoyed at the news that Health Canada is considering approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine for kids age five to 11 in Canada, parents like Hubert are feeling more trepidatious, and public health officials said they are going to have a much more nuanced conversation with parents about vaccination than they did with adults.

While 82 per cent of eligible Canadians aged 12 and up are already fully vaccinated, a recent survey by Angus Reid shows only 51 per cent of parents plan to immediately vaccinate their kids when a pediatric dose becomes available.

“Most of the research that I’ve seen sort of indicates that parents are more hesitant to vaccinate their kids against COVID than themselves,” said Kate Allan, a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases at the University of Toronto.

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There are several reasons parents might pause, she said.

It’s true that children are at a much lower risk of serious outcomes associated with COVID-19, and there have been very rare incidents of mRNA vaccines like Pfizer or Moderna linked to cases of myocarditis, a swelling of the heart muscle.

As of Oct. 1, Health Canada has documented 859 cases associated with the vaccines, which mainly seem to affect people under 40 years old, and people who’ve developed the complication have typically been fine.

“I know it’s rare, I know it’s not deadly, but I also see the risk of severe symptoms from COVID as being rare and not deadly for Jackson,” Hubert said when asked about weighing up the risks and benefits of the vaccine.

But public health experts stress that some children do suffer from rare but serious impacts from COVID-19, which can also cause myocarditis as well as the little-understood impacts of the condition known as long COVID.

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They say parents should consider the less tangible benefits of vaccination as well.

“It’s less of a conversation about a direct benefit to them, and more of a community benefit,” Allan said

– The Canadian Press

B.C. lifting COVID-19 restrictions but not everyone ready to resume usual gatherings

British Columbia is set to lift capacity restrictions on gatherings across much of the province Monday, though some say not everyone will be ready to party like it’s early 2020 while still wearing a mask.

Residents in swaths of the province will be allowed to attend events like hockey games, concerts and weddings without any limits on numbers, but capacity will be capped at 50 per cent in areas where vaccination rates are low, including parts of the Fraser, Northern and Interior health regions.

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Attendees at all organized events in B.C. will be required to wear face coverings and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

The move was eagerly anticipated by businesses, including those that require bookings well in advance for events like weddings.

Harpal Sooch, owner of the Grand Taj Banquet Hall in Surrey, said he’s cautiously optimistic about an uptick in business even as most large banquets were cancelled and won’t be going ahead until next summer.

“This is my bread and butter for me and my family. Same thing for my partner, and same thing with all the banquet halls that are mostly run by families. We were closed for 15 months,” he said of the toll on his finances.

But Sooch said not everyone is ready for pre-pandemic-type parties while they still need to wear masks, especially seniors waiting for booster shots and families with children under 12 who can’t yet be vaccinated.

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“They’re not getting into it. But hopefully everything goes on so by next summer we’ll be fine,” he said. “That’s what we’re hoping for.”

Heidi Tworek, a professor who specializes in health communications at the University of British Columbia’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, said employers, businesses expecting more customers and even individuals inviting someone over for dinner should expect a range of reactions because the lack of regular contact with people after nearly two years will have impacted some people’s mental health.

“There’s sometimes a baseline assumption that every single person is eager to go back immediately to full capacity,” she said, adding that while most people will have to get used to gathering with others outside their usual circle of contacts, those with an anxiety disorder will have a more difficult time being around those they don’t know.

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– The Canadian Press


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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