COVID-19 update for Nov. 29: Children 5-11 eligible for vaccinations starting today | Symptoms linked to Omicron variant are mild so far: South Africa expert | Canada’s first known Omicron cases detected in Ontario

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. 29, 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.

Children between five and 11 are eligible for vaccinations starting Monday

Children in B.C. between five and 11 years old start receiving the first doses of their COVID-19 vaccines on Monday.

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More than 90,000 out of the 350,000 eligible children, or 26 per cent, in that age category were registered a week before the rollout, according to the B.C. government.

The government’s own surveys show that most parents support getting vaccines for their young children, but there are some whose views might keep the vaccination rate lower for this age category.

Of B.C. parents who responded, 58 per cent will register to vaccinate their children right away, while another 18 per cent planned to wait, and nearly 25 per cent said they are not sure they will do it, according to Penny Ballem, the executive lead for B.C.’s immunization efforts.

A parent or legal guardian has to give verbal consent ahead of a child being vaccinated, according to Ballem.

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Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11 on Nov. 19. This vaccine uses a lower dose of 10 micrograms that is one-third of the dose given to older children and adults.

Read more HERE .

— Joanne Lee-Young

Omicron COVID variant’s symptoms are mild so far, leading experts say

Symptoms linked to the omicron coronavirus variant have been mild so far, according to a Covid-19 adviser to the South Africa government and the Pretoria doctor who first sounded the alarm about the new strain.

But the World Health Organization cautioned there’s “no information” symptoms caused by omicron are different from other strains.

While South Africa, which first identified the new variant, currently has 3,220 people with the coronavirus infection overall, there’s been no real uptick in hospitalizations, Barry Schoub, chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, told Sky News on Sunday.

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“The cases that have occurred so far have all been mild cases, mild-to-moderate cases, and that’s a good sign,” said Schoub, adding that it was still early days and nothing was certain yet.

The WHO, however, said there was preliminary data showing increasing hospitalizations, “but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with omicron.”

South Africa has been hit with a number of travel bans from the U.K. and other nations, after its scientists found the mutated variant last week. Since then, a growing number of European countries, along with Australia, have also identified people infected with the variant.

The large number of mutations found in the omicron variant appears to destabilize the virus, which might make it less “fit” than the dominant delta strain, said Schoub.

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“In a way, hopefully it won’t displace delta because delta we know responds very well to the vaccine,” he said.

— Bloomberg

Ontario detects Canada’s first two known cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant

Ontario detected Canada’s first two known cases of Omicron on Sunday, a new COVID-19 variant of concern that has led to a slate of new border restrictions around the world.

Both cases of the variant were found in the Ottawa area in people who had recently travelled to Nigeria, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a joint statement with the province’s top public health official, Dr. Kieran Moore.

“Ontario is prepared and ready to respond to this new variant. Our hospital and intensive care capacity remain stable and the province continues to report one of the lowest rates of active cases in the country,” the pair said.

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They said Ottawa Public Health is conducting “case and contact management” and the patients are self-isolating, while the province is testing all eligible positive COVID-19 samples to determine their variant.

The federal government recently banned visitors from seven countries in southern Africa, including Namibia and Zimbabwe. Nigeria is not among them.

Elliott and Moore’s statement urges the federal government to take stronger action at the border, suggesting that everyone be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, not just before leaving for Canada.

“The best defence against the Omicron variant is stopping it at our border,” they said.

Moore is set to speak to the media Monday morning about the cases of the Omicron variant.

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— Canadian Press


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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