COVID-19 update for Nov. 1: Health officials to provide COVID-19 update today | Point Roberts offers to pay for some COVID-19 tests | Outbreaks continue to rise at long-term care homes

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 Nov. 1, 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. 29:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 204,914 (4,982 active)
• New cases since Oct. 28: 584
• Total deaths: 2,156 (nine additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 436 (up two patients)
• Intensive care: 156 (up by one patient)
• Total vaccinations: 4,163,572 received first dose; 3,940,563 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 197,396
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 33

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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.

Health officials to provide an update on the state of COVID-19 in B.C.

Health minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are holding a news conference at 11 a.m. today for an update on COVID-19.

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Point Roberts trying to help Canadians return with measure to cover COVID test costs

Point Roberts is expecting an influx of Canadians who own property in the U.S exclave and is taking steps to help them meet the requirement for a COVID-19 test before they return to Canada.

To do that, Point Roberts has arranged for the state of Washington to pay for testing for Canadians who own property there but cannot afford the test or do not have private U.S. health insurance to cover the cost.

The U.S. will open its land border with Canada and Mexico on Nov. 8 as long as travellers are fully vaccinated and have proof they don’t have COVID-19. But to return to Canada they will have to again prove to be COVID-19 negative with a test taken in the U.S. within three days of crossing.

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The Point Roberts fire chief, Christopher Carleton, said Canada’s insistence on the COVID-19 test to return will still make it impossible for day-trippers to come to Point Roberts because Canada does not accept rapid testing — and the standard PCR testing is only available in Point Roberts on Sundays and Wednesdays and it takes a day for the result to come back from a Bellingham lab.

Carleton has struck a deal with the Northwest Laboratory in Bellingham – which does COVID-19 testing in Point Roberts – in which the laboratory will bill Washington state for tests done on such property owners if needed.

The tests normally cost US$180 and Carleton estimated 70 per cent of the Canadian home owners do not have U.S. insurance.

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— David Carrigg

Respiratory therapists see ICUs fill up with non-vaccinated patients

If you’ve never had to be intubated, count yourself lucky, Serafina Chau says.

“It is definitely not comfortable,” the veteran respiratory therapist at Royal Columbian Hospital said. “I mean, just imagine.

“Anyone who is intubated needs to be, to some degree, I don’t want to say in an induced coma but they will need medication for anxiety to keep them calm.”

In other words, they’re sedated enough to not yank out the tube, as uncomfortable as it is, as much as it offends your body’s motor reflexes and natural impulses to do just that.

“It’s just like gagging,” Chau said. “It’s not natural, that’s for sure.”

She’s been a respiratory therapist for 17 years and the job came with enough stress even prior to the pandemic.

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Patients need to be intubated and hooked up to a ventilator when they are unable to breathe without assistance. So when the virus that causes COVID-19 aggressively targets the respiratory system, some patients need mechanical ventilation to keep their lungs going.

In what we now look back on as normal times, it was already heartbreaking to see people suffer through intubation : Smokers, people with chronic respiratory illness, patients needing resuscitation or under anesthesia.

Now add COVID-deniers to the list; Chau can only shake her head.

— Gordon McIntyre

Outbreaks continue to rise at long-term care homes as booster program nears end

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks at care homes continues to rise in B.C. even as a booster shot program for residents that began to roll out earlier this month appears to be nearing completion.

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B.C. Ministry of Health officials would not say what percentage of residents at care homes had received a third, booster jab or provide any details of the rollout.

But health ministry spokeswoman Aileen Machell said “we’re almost there” in a brief written response to questions that included when the province expected to complete its booster program at care homes.

Machell said Health Minister Adrian Dix would provide details this week.

According to the latest provincial and regional health authority information there are 28 outbreaks in long-term care, assisted-living and independent-living residences.

That’s up from 16 long-term care and assisted living homes experiencing outbreaks two weeks ago, and well up from mid-July when outbreaks dropped to zero.

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— Gordon Hoekstra

Biotech firm Novavax submits COVID-19 vaccine for approval by Health Canada

Biotechnology company Novavax Inc. says it has submitted its COVID-19 vaccine for approval in Canada.

The U.S. company says it has now completed the submission of all modules required by Health Canada for the regulatory evaluation of its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine.

The submission includes clinical data from a trial of 30,000 participants in the U.S. and Mexico.

The company says the trial found 100 per cent protection against moderate and severe disease and 90.4 per cent efficacy overall.

Novavax also recently announced regulatory filings for its vaccine in the United Kingdom and Australia and expects to complete additional regulatory filings shortly in several additional markets. It expects to submit the complete package to the U.S. FDA by the end of the year.

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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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