COVID-19 update for Nov. 27-28: 341 new cases, six deaths | Omicron variant not yet detected in B.C. | Omicron now detected in Britain, Hong Kong

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. 27-28, 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. 26:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 217,099 (3,035 active)
• New cases since Nov. 25: 341
• Total deaths: 2,322 (six additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 291
• Intensive care: 115
• Total vaccinations: 4,219,790 received first dose; 4,060,193 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 211,577
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 8

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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.

Two cases of Omicron coronavirus variant detected in Britain

Two linked cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in Britain connected to travel to southern Africa, health minister Sajid Javid said on Saturday.

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Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Friday, is potentially more contagious than previous variants of the disease, although experts do not know yet if it will cause more or less severe COVID-19 compared to other coronavirus strains.

“Late last night I was contacted by the UK Health Security Agency. I was informed that they have detected two cases of this new variant, Omicron, in the United Kingdom,” Javid said in a broadcast clip.

Essex County Council later confirmed on Twitter that there was a single case identified in Brentwood in the southeastern region of England. The council said it was linked to a single case from Nottingham in central England involving travel to South Africa.

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—Reuters

Hong Kong confirms two cases of virulent new COVID-19 variant, one of which travelled from Canada

Two cases of the new COVID-19 strain raising alarm in parts of southern Africa and unnerving financial markets worldwide have been found in travellers in compulsory quarantine in Hong Kong.

A traveller from South Africa was found to have the variant — B.1.1.529, dubbed Omicron — while the other case was identified in a person who had travelled from Canada and was quarantined in the hotel room opposite his, the Hong Kong government said late Thursday. The traveller from South Africa used a mask with a valve that doesn’t filter exhaled air and may have transmitted the virus to his neighbour when the hotel room door was open, a health department spokesperson said Friday.

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Twelve people who were staying in rooms close to the two Hong Kong cases are now undergoing compulsory 14-day quarantines at a government facility, according to the statement out Thursday.

Global authorities around the world have already reacted with alarm Friday to the new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa. The EU and Britain were among the first to tighten border controls as researchers seek to determine whether the mutation was vaccine-resistant.

Canada is now closing its borders to all foreigners who have recently been to southern Africa. The ban and new testing and quarantine requirements for Canadians returning home applies to people who have been to South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini in the last two weeks.

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—Reuters

341 new cases, six more deaths

B.C. reported 341 new cases of coronavirus reported Friday, according to the province’s latest pandemic update.

Of the cases, 100 new cases were in Fraser Health, 77 in Interior Health, 68 in Island Health, 65 in Vancouver Coastal Health and 31 in Northern Health, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Today’s new cases were less than yesterday’s 424 reported cases. The new cases brings the provincial total number of COVID-19 cases up to 217,099.

There are currently 3,035 active cases in the province and of those, 291 are being treated in hospital, including 115 in intensive care.

The majority of active cases are located in Fraser Health, with 1,071 active cases. Meanwhile, there are 593 active cases in Island Health, 536 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 448 in Island Health and 381 in Northern Health. There are six active cases in people who reside outside of Canada.

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The province also reported six more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic up to 2,322. Of the deceased, three were residents of Fraser Health, two were in Vancouver Coast Health and one was in Northern Health.

— Cayley Dobie

Omicron variant not identified in B.C. COVID-19 cases, say health officials

Health officials in B.C. say the newly identified COVID-19 variant from southern Africa has not been found to have spread to the province.

“There is no evidence that this variant has been introduced into British Columbia,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement Friday.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s public health lab has sequenced over 90,000 virus isolates in B.C. and will continue to use whole-genome sequencing to monitor for variants of concern, including Omicron, they said.

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“Public health will be working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canada Border Services Agency to identify any people recently returned from the areas of concern to arrange testing and to ensure they remain well… w e do not yet know the impact this new VOC will have on transmission or of the severity of illness.”

—Sarah Grochowski

What we know about Omicron COVID-19 variant

The World Health Organization on Friday classified the B.1.1.529 variant known as Omicron first detected in South Africa as a SARS-CoV-2 “variant of concern,” saying it may spread more quickly than other forms. Here is what we know about it so far:

WHERE AND WHEN WAS NEW VARIANT FOUND?

South African scientists detected a small number of the variant known as B.1.1.529 on Tuesday in samples taken from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16.

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On Wednesday, South African scientists sequenced more genomes, informed the government that they were concerned and asked the World Health Organization to convene its technical working group on virus evolution for Friday.

The country has identified about 100 cases of the variant, mostly from its most populated province, Gauteng, where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located.

Read more HERE

—Reuters, Bloomberg


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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