COVID-19 update for Nov. 23: B.C. to announce vaccine rollout for children ages 5 to 11 | Almost half of Canadians plan to ditch social distancing at holiday gatherings: Poll | Canada stops pandemic-era policy of turning away asylum-seekers at the border

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. 23, 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. 22:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 215,688 (3,137 active)
• New cases since Nov. 19: 1,052
• Total deaths: 2,303 (10 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 337
• Intensive care: 115
• Total vaccinations: 4,213,371 received first dose; 4,047,568 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 210,070
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 12

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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.

B.C. to announce vaccine rollout for children ages 5 to 11

B.C. officials are set to announce the vaccine rollout for five to 11 year-olds in B.C. later today.

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and immunization team lead Dr. Penny Ballem will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Last week, Health Canada approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for the age group, paving the way for first doses to arrive in the country on Sunday.

“After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the department has determined that the benefits of this vaccine for children between five and 11 years of age outweigh the risks,” said the federal health agency in a statement on Friday.

In Ontario, parents can book vaccine appointments for children ages five to 11 starting today. The province has said it expects to start administering the first shots on Thursday.

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Almost half of Canadians plan to ditch social distancing at holiday gatherings: poll

Almost half of Canadians plan to abandon social distancing during holiday gatherings and hug, kiss and shake hands with friends and family, a new poll shows.

The poll by Leger in collaboration with The Canadian Press found that 45% of Canadians say they will “greet others with a handshake, hug or kiss” at Christmas parties and other holiday gatherings.

In Ontario, the number prepared to ditch social distancing over the winter vacation rose to 50%, compared to only 37% in B.C.

Among 18- to 34-year-olds, the proportion comfortable with hugging friends and relatives over the holidays rose to 52%.

Christian Bourque, Leger’s executive vice-president, said the finding suggested that Canadians may be becoming complacent about the risk of COVID-19 because they are vaccinated.

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Forty-nine per cent of Canadians confessed they were not afraid of catching the virus.

“Canadians are showing indications that they are relaxing. Now that there is a fifth wave in Europe, Canadians are indicating that they are heading for a holiday season where they will take too many chances,” Bourque said.

— The Canadian Press

Canada ends COVID-19 policy turning back asylum-seekers between border crossings

Canada is ending its pandemic-era policy of turning back asylum-seekers trying to cross into the country between ports of entry, according to a revised policy document released on Sunday.

Canada turned at least 544 would-be refugees back to the Unites States between March 2020 and mid-October. The government did not immediately respond to questions regarding why it was ending the policy now and what if any quarantine rules would apply to asylum-seekers who are not vaccinated.

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Canada had said the measure was necessary given health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. But refugee advocates argued attempts to claim asylum should not be considered “discretionary travel” and pointed to class exemptions Canada made during the pandemic for professional athletes, among others.

“It’s a relief to see the measures for refugees align more with our international obligations, and I think it’s been clear all along that public health and refugee protection could coexist,” said Maureen Silcoff, a refugee lawyer and past president of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, which took the government to court over the policy.

Silcoff said it did not make sense to allow tourists entry, as Canada has begun to do, while barring people seeking protection.

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— Reuters


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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