COVID-19 update for Nov. 8: U.S. opens lanes but PCR test a drag on travel | U.S. border communities eagerly await return of Canadians | Live music venues push to end no-dancing rules

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. 8, 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.


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


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


PCR test a drag on travel as lanes open Monday at U.S. border

WASHINGTON — The southbound lanes on the road to North America’s post-pandemic recovery will finally reopen Monday as the United States ends nearly 20 months of controversial COVID-19 exile and allows fully vaccinated travellers to cross the Canada-U.S. land border.


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As of midnight, non-essential traffic will resume moving in both directions for the first time since March 2020, when both countries imposed sweeping but selective restrictions in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus – the first widespread border closure since the 9/11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago.

After nearly two years, however, the excitement isn’t exactly palpable.

“We’re on the other side of this, hopefully, but if the border were to ever close again, they really need to realize that families are essential,” said Kim Patchett, who lives with her husband Barry in Saugeen Shores, Ont., west of Owen Sound on the shores of Lake Huron.

Travelling to Philadelphia to visit daughter Kaity, her American son-in-law Jesse and three-year-old granddaughter Ilsa – a routine endeavour in the before times, costing just $80 for a tank of diesel fuel – has been an expensive and frustrating ordeal since the restrictions were imposed.


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Then there’s the Canadian requirement that all travellers submit the results of a recent PCR test to prove they aren’t sick, an expense that in Canada can run anywhere from $150-$300 per person.

Read more: The U.S. land border reopens on Monday — here are 5 things to know before you go

— The Canadian Press

‘Happy dances at the malls’: U.S. border communities eagerly await return of Canadians

Vicki Kultgen, the postmaster in Whitlash, Mont., 10 minutes due south of the sleepiest border crossing between Canada and the United States , grew accustomed to Canadians popping across the border to collect mail from a postal box, as it’s closer than any post office in Alberta.

Throughout 2019, the year before the pandemic , 1,149 people crossed into tiny Whitlash from tiny Aden, making it the least travelled of all U.S. border crossings. That traffic plummeted to just 238 people in 2020, because of COVID-19 border restrictions, a drop of almost 80 per cent.


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“I’ve been holding onto packages for them for over a year now that they have ordered and been unable to come and get,” Kultgen said. “We are very much looking forward to the border re-opening because where we’re at, some of our closest neighbours are on the other side of the fence, so to speak.”

In Niagara Falls, N.Y., anticipation of the U.S. border reopening is as commercial as Kultgen’s is quaint. They’re doing “happy dances” at the outlet malls over news the taps are turning back on for the $100 million Canadians usually leave behind there.

In 2019, there were more than 10.5 million people crossing from Ontario over the Buffalo/Niagara bridges, cumulatively the busiest land crossings for non-commercial traffic. In 2020, that shrank to 1.7 million, a drop of almost 84 per cent.


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— Postmedia News

No standing, no dancing, no fair: Time to address COVID-19 inequities say music venues

Over 10,000 British Columbians have written to provincial health authorities in the last three days asking them to address the no standing, no dancing rules in small music venues.

The Canadian Live Music Association launched the #ForTheLoveofLive campaign on Thursday, asking the public to write to their health authorities after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry failed to respond to a letter they sent last week asking her to lift the restrictions on small venues.

“British Columbians not only want these live music venues to survive, but they share industry’s frustration of regulatory inequity. These spaces matter, and people want government to know that,” said Benjamin, president and CEO of the CLMA.


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British Columbia will soon be the only province in the country that doesn’t allow standing at small music venues. Ontario recently lifted restrictions on live nightclubs, and Quebec will be allowing dancing and karaoke in bars starting Nov. 15.

Currently in B.C. fans can sing, stand and dance during sporting, music events and indoor concerts, provided they have an assigned seat, but the assigned seating rule doesn’t work for small venues, said Mo Tarmohamed, owner operator of Rickshaw Theatre on East Hastings.

“We are getting into the realm of the absurd now,” said Tarmohamed. “There is no scientific data to say if you have a seat but aren’t sitting in it you have less likelihood of spreading COVID than if you are standing but don’t have a seat next to you.”


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Read more HERE .

— Denise Ryan


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:


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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