COVID-19 update for Nov. 20-21: 497 new cases, three deaths | B.C. health officials welcome approval of vaccine for kids

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. 20-21, 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. 19:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 214,636 (3,420 active)
• New cases since Nov. 18: 497
• Total deaths: 2,293 (three additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 358
• Intensive care: 109
• Total vaccinations: 4,209,651 received first dose; 4,034,962 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 208,702
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 21

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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.

Three more deaths, a new outbreak in health-care setting

B.C. reported 497 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Friday, pushing the death toll from the virus to 2,293.

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The Health Ministry says 3,420 infections are active across the province, including 358 people in hospital, with 109 in intensive care.

It says 87 per cent of eligible B.C. residents aged 12 and up have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 91 per cent have had one.

British Columbia reported 497 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and three additional deaths.

Of the new cases, 138 were in the Fraser Health region, 64 were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 146 were in Interior Health, 78 were in Northern Health and 71 were in Island Health, provincial health officials said in a statement.

The deaths occurred to persons in the Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Northern Health regions.

Also Friday, a new COVID-19 outbreak was reported in Northern Health’s Laurier Manor assisted-living facility while an outbreak in Fraser Health’s Rosemary Heights Seniors Village had been declared over.

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– Sarah Grochowski

Quebec zoo hoping to vaccinate wild animals against COVID-19 over coming weeks

After millions of Quebecers rolled up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccines, it could soon be zoo animals’ turn to get the shot.

The Granby Zoo, east of Montreal, says it is hoping in the coming weeks or months to vaccinate against COVID-19 about 90 animals, including gorillas, big cats and other creatures deemed susceptible to the disease. The vaccines are in the United States awaiting clearance to Canada.

“Hopefully, we can start at least a few species by Christmas. I’m crossing my fingers for that,” Emilie Couture, a veterinarian with the zoo, said in a recent interview.

She said the zoo is planning to vaccinate the species that appear to be the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Primates and big cats such as tigers, jaguars and leopards top the list, she said, adding that the zoo is also including some other mammals such as red pandas.

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There has been a “worrying” rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in North American zoos, especially among large felines such as lions and leopards, Couture said. Last week, three snow leopards died at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, in Nebraska, of complications from COVID-19 — an event that she said shocked the North American zoo community.

—The Canadian Press

Ottawa to drop need for COVID-19 test after short-term U.S. visits as of Nov. 30

The federal government says that as of Nov. 30, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents who are visiting the United States for less than 72 hours won’t need a costly molecular test for COVID-19 in order to return home.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also says that by the end of the month, travellers who received the Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covaxin vaccines will be considered fully vaccinated for travel purposes.

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Critics in both countries have been complaining for weeks about the need for what’s known as a PCR test, which can run between $150-$300 per swab, saying it’s a major deterrent to the resumption of cross-border travel.

Travellers who are out of the country for more than 72 hours, however, will still be required to present a negative molecular test at the border on their way home.

—The Canadian Press

B.C. health officials welcome approval of vaccine for kids

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are welcoming the news that Health Health Canada has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 pediatric vaccine for children aged five to 11.

“The rigorous review confirms that this first vaccine formulated for younger children is safe and effective,” they said, in a joint statement Friday.

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“We look forward to making the pediatric vaccine available for 360,000 young British Columbians as soon as possible.”

Henry and Dix said while children are at a lower risk of severe disease from COVID-19, it can still result in serious outcomes in some children, including hospitalization and long-term symptoms.

B.C. parents and guardians can register their children to get vaccinated at  www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca    or by calling 1 833 838-2323 toll-free.

Already, more than 75,000 children have been registered for their vaccine and are on the list to be contacted to book an appointment and get their COVID-19 paediatric vaccine, according to the government.

—Tiffany Crawford

Health Canada approves first COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5 to 11

Health Canada has approved the first COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 in Canada.

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Pfizer and its partner BioNTech submitted a request for approval of a child-sized dose of its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 on Oct. 18.

The companies say the results of their trials in children show comparable safety and efficacy to those recorded in a previous Pfizer-BioNTech study in people aged 16 to 25.

After a thorough review of the data, the department has determined the benefits of the vaccine for children between five and 11 years of age outweigh the risks, Health Canada said in a statement Friday.


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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