COVID-19 update for Nov. 10: Dr. Henry nudging northern, Interior communities to adopt vaccine mandates for schools | Exposure warning for 9 Vancouver flights | 500 new cases, 5 deaths in past 24 hours

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. 10, 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. 9:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 210,203 (4,301 active)
• New cases since Nov. 8: 500
• Total deaths: 2,223 (5 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 426 (up by 19)
• Intensive care: 124 (up by 12)
• Total vaccinations: 4,187,281 received first dose; 3,992,679 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 203,375
• 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.

Dr. Henry nudging northern, Interior communities to adopt vaccine mandates for schools

School districts in northern and Interior B.C. communities are now being encouraged to implement vaccine mandates for staff due to high COVID-19 case counts.

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“This week in the Interior there have been three outbreaks in schools, so yes, we are very supportive of mandates in those areas, particularly because of the risk in that community right now,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters on Tuesday.

But B.C. School Trustees Association president Stephanie Higginson said school boards also have to consider staffing levels and a lack of resources before deciding whether to adopt any mandates.

So far, no school district in B.C. has opted for a vaccine mandate for staff.

Higginson said advice from health officials is one of the most important factors in deciding whether a vaccine mandate is necessary, but she said school boards will have to weigh many other factors to determine the best way to continue to keep schools open. She added that boards are also looking at data that explains the source of increased COVID cases in schools.

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“We are seeing increased cases in schools as the world has opened up. Kids are going to birthday parties or they are on the same hockey team and are not being exposed at school,” she said. “And these boards are asking, ‘Are these exposures in our staff or in students younger than 12? And, if it’s the under-12s, it is worth vaccinating all of our staff?’”

School districts have been advised by the education ministry that they will have to pay the cost of testing to accommodate staff who cannot be vaccinated for health or religious reasons. Higginson said that may also be a factor in whether a vaccine mandate is the best use of resources.

“I have heard that the major issue that we are hearing provincially is that there is a concern with our staff and students’ mental health and well-being,” she said. “So where is the best place to put resources to ensure schools stay open? A vaccine mandate has to be a last resort.”

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Higginson expects districts will be making “very difficult decisions” in the coming weeks.

“It is a big challenge. It’s going to be thoughtful. People want to make sure there are no unintended consequences and health authority advice is going to have an impact on how people move forward with this.”

— Lisa Cordasco

Exposure warning issued for nine Vancouver flights

The BCCDC has issued exposure notices for nine flights to and from Vancouver between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7. They are:

Nov. 1
• WestJet 448, Vancouver to Winnipeg

Nov. 4
• British Airways 85, London to Vancouver

Nov. 5
• Alaska Airlines 2154, Seattle to Vancouver

Nov. 6
• Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver
• Air Canada/Jazz 8827, Chicago to Vancouver
• WestJet 127, Calgary to Vancouver
• WestJet 731, Toronto to Vancouver

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Nov. 7
• Air Canada 553, Los Angeles to Vancouver
• Air Canada 1055, Phoenix to Vancouver

Click here for the BCCDC’s full list of flight exposures.

B.C. records 500 new cases, 5 deaths in past 24 hours

There were 500 new cases and five deaths from COVID-19 reported in B.C. in the past 24 hours, according to a government pandemic update on Tuesday.

There are now 4,301 active cases in the province. That includes 426 people in hospital, of whom 124 are in critical care.

Of the new cases, 152 were in Fraser Health, followed by 121 in Interior Health, 103 in Northern Health, 76 on Vancouver Island and 48 in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Of the deaths, three were in Island Health and there was one each in Fraser Health and Northern Health. The death toll in B.C. from COVID-19 is 2,223.

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There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital, for a total of 33 facilities with ongoing outbreaks. An outbreak has also been declared at Mar Jok Elementary School in Kelowna.

B.C. set to offer limited number of Johnson & Johnson vaccines

B.C. is expecting to receive a limited number of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government next week, said B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

She said the first priority for the vaccine is for health-care workers facing vaccine mandates who are willing to get vaccinated with the single-shot J&J vaccine.

A limited amount will be available to the public, said Henry, who estimates there’s “a couple thousand” people who are waiting for the J&J vaccine to get immunized. “We will have some available and we will be providing you with the details next week of how you can access this through a central call-in number,” she said.

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The J&J vaccine is a viral-vector vaccine, similar to the AstraZeneca shot. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA, a different technology.

About a fourth of health-care workers holdouts have received a jab: Dix

About a fourth of B.C.’s remaining unvaccinated health-care workers has now received at least a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

During a news briefing Tuesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said there were 3,071 unvaccinated workers in the health-care system, down from about 4,000 two weeks ago.

Following an Oct. 26 deadline, these workers have been placed on unpaid leave, and were given until Nov. 15 to get their first dose or get fired.

Of the holdouts, 1,032 are casual workers, 989 are full-time employees, 819 are part-time workers, said Dix. Another 16 are not identified.

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Overall, 98 per cent of B.C.’s approximately 126,000 public-sector health-care workers are fully immunized, while 97 per cent are partially vaccinated. Rates, however, vary by region. Interior Health has the highest number of unvaxxed workers.

Broken down by job status, allied health workers which include clinical pharmacists, medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists have 420 unvaccinated workers, making up two per cent.

Personnel in emergency medicine, general medicine, and among resident doctors also have a two per cent unvaccinated rate, while unvaccinated workers in internal medicine number 19, making up slightly less than one per cent.

Care aides and workers who work in the community as well as paramedics have a slightly higher unvaccinated rate, at three per cent.

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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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