COVID-19 update for Nov. 6-7: 549 new cases, one death | Weekly death rate has risen in B.C. since summer, now higher than in Ontario, Quebec | B.C. phasing out mink farms because of the virus

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. 6-7, 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 Nov. 5:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 208,265 (4,483 active)
• New cases since Nov. 3: 549
• Total deaths: 2,201 (one additional death)
• Hospitalized cases: 441 (up by three)
• Intensive care: 129 (down by one)
• Total vaccinations: 4,179,061 received first dose; 3,973,745 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 201,267
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 37

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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.

549 new cases, one death

The B.C. health ministry reported 549 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday for a total of 4,483 active cases.

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Out of the active cases, 441 people are in hospital, including 129 who are seriously ill in intensive care.

The majority of the active cases are in Fraser Health, which has 1,903, including 184 new cases.

Vancouver Coastal has 78 new infections out of 601 total active cases, while Interior Health has 110 new cases; Northern Health 102; and Island Health, 73.

COVID-19 has claimed the life of one person in the Northern Health region over the previous 24-hour reporting period.

There are 37 health-care facilities across the province grappling with active outbreaks.

B.C. phasing out mink farms because of COVID-19

The threat that mink farms in British Columbia would become a “reservoir” for COVID-19 infections is too great a health hazard, prompting the government to phase out all of the farms, the provincial health officer says.

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Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham announced Friday a permanent ban on breeding mink. Live mink will also not be allowed on the province’s nine farms by April 2023. All operations must cease completely and have all their pelts sold by 2025.

Henry said an assessment by national and international experts showed the transmission of COVID-19 back and forth between humans and mink would continue.

While the highly transmissible Delta variant hasn’t been found on mink farms, the threat remains for a virus to mutate in mink, then be passed back to humans. Henry said a mutation could affect the effectiveness of vaccines.

—The Canadian Press

Weekly death rate has risen in B.C. since summer, now higher than in Ontario, Quebec

The rate of death from COVID-19 has been rising in B.C. since August and is higher than the other two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, where the rate has been dropping.

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Experts say, however, it is hard to pinpoint exactly why without a much more detailed examination of the data.

According to information compiled by Health Canada, British Columbia has a death rate of 1.8 per 100,000 population in the past 14 days as of Nov. 5, a rate that appears to be beginning to make a slight downturn. That’s higher than the rates in Ontario (0.4) and Quebec (0.5) but lower than in Alberta (2.6) and Saskatchewan (4.3), all of which are on a visible downward trend.

The peaks and valleys of the 14-day death rates vary across provinces. For example, in B.C. the rate was low compared to Ontario and Quebec in the first six months of the pandemic, rising in the winter of 2020-21, then dropping to almost zero this summer before spiking again.

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Read more HERE.

—Gord Hoekstra

PCR test requirements at the border need to be re-examined: Tam

OTTAWA – Test requirements for travellers vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Canadian border need to be re-examined, particularly for short trips, says the country’s top doctor.

On Friday the Canadian Border Services Agency reiterated the testing requirements for vaccinated travellers entering Canada in advance of the border with the United States reopening next week.

But that policy is being “actively looked at,” said chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

“Just to reassure everybody we are looking at that quite carefully,” she told a briefing Friday.

No changes will be made before Monday when the United States reopens its land border to vaccinated Canadians however, according to a spokesman for the federal health minister.

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—The Canadian Press

Why ‘ideal’ herd immunity for COVID-19 is likely impossible — but attempting to get there still matters

Back in the early stages of the pandemic, when vaccines were still just a hopeful idea and variants of concern had yet to make an appearance, herd immunity was all the talk when it came to beating back COVID-19.

Most researchers, looking at the reproduction rate of the original virus strain, figured a community would need to see 60 to 70 per cent of its population immunized (either through vaccination or catching the virus) to starve COVID-19 of new bodies to infect and effectively end the pandemic there.

But that figure seems quaint now. Despite nearly three quarters of Canada’s total population being vaccinated, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in many provinces, and Alberta and Saskatchewan are only just recovering from massive spikes that seriously threatened their healthcare systems.

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Although cases nationally in Canada have dropped over the last month, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, told reporters on Friday that the latest modelling shows the rate of decline slowing. “It’s not unexpected that we could see some bumps in the trajectory during the months ahead,” Tam said.

Read more HERE.

—Brian Platt

How long can China chase COVID zero? Here’s what the experts say

China is resolutely sticking with its zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19, even as the delta variant continues to penetrate its formidable defenses. Officials are implementing increasingly aggressive measures — ranging from internal travel restrictions and snap lockdowns to mass testing of millions — in an attempt to rein in the virus.

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Yet more parts of the country are grappling with outbreaks than at any time since the deadly pathogen first emerged in Wuhan in 2019. Hundreds of locally transmitted infections have been found in about two thirds of its provinces.

The last of the major Covid Zero holdouts, China is becoming ever more isolated, and its unpredictable curbs are beginning to disrupt the world’s second-largest economy. How long can the vast nation maintain its strategy as the rest of the world learns to live with Covid, and what factors might force the country to re-open?

“My personal estimate is China won’t reopen for another year,” said Chen Zhengming, an epidemiology professor at the University of Oxford.

The country’s success with suppressing flareups has won public approval, he pointed out, while places treating the virus as endemic are seeing “what the government fears — once you relax, cases surge.”

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Read more HERE.

—Bloomberg News


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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