COVID-19 update for Jan. 4: Calls grow for N95 mask use in B.C. | Storm Crow pub shuttered | In-person trials postponed

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 Jan. 4, 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 Jan. 3 (partial):

• Total number of confirmed cases: 264,181 (20,811 active *as of Dec. 31 )
• New cases: 9,332 (4,033, 3,069 and 2,230)
• Total deaths: 2,420 (three new deaths) *as of Dec. 31
• Hospitalized cases: 220 (up by nine) *as of Dec. 31
• Intensive care: 73 (up by eight) *as of Dec. 31
• Total vaccinations: 4,392,141 received first dose (92% of eligible pop. 12+); 4,133,438 second doses (89.2%); 909,248 third doses (19.6%) *as of Dec. 31
• Recovered from acute infection: 231,058 *as of Dec. 31
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: Fifteen *as of Dec. 31

IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

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.

1:30 p.m. – B.C. Health officials to hold COVID-19 update

Health officials are expected to update the COVID-19 situation in B.C. after the New Year’s long weekend. You can watch it live at 1:30 p.m. on the Province of B.C. YouTube channel or here:

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Calls grow for N95 mask use in B.C. health-care settings

VICTORIA — A growing number of health-care experts are demanding the province upgrade to using N95 masks in all health-care settings and are encouraging members of the public to do the same.

Last week, the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said “it’s inevitable” that everyone in B.C. will be exposed to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Now an independent group of physicians, health scientists, policy specialists and community advocates said Henry should do more to prevent that by ordering that higher grade respirators be worn.

“I don’t think anybody should say it’s inevitable that everyone will get Omicron. If we don’t respond by following the science, we will. We should be responding to the science and have everyone wear a higher grade mask like an N95 or equivalent respirator,” said Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, a retired emergency room physician and member of Save Our Province B.C.

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It’s the latest group to demand the province change its policy and require all health care workers and visitors to health facilities to wear N95 masks.

— Lisa Cordasco

Vancouver’s Storm Crow Alehouse cites COVID lockdowns in closing

The Storm Crow Alehouse has suffered a critical hit and will be closing its doors for good this month.

Citing the impacts of COVID-prompted lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, staff shortages, the nearby construction of the Broadway SkyTrain and the final blow of Omicron, the popular nerd bar and restaurant will be shutting down later this month at a to-be-determined date.

“With great sorrow, we must announce that the Storm Crow Alehouse will close its doors permanently in January,” read a statement shared to Twitter.

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Courts in B.C. postpone in-person trials as COVID cases surge

British Columbia’s Supreme and provincial courts are postponing in-person trials this week as they work with public health officials to update their COVID-19 safety policies.

The courts say in a written statement that all in-person civil and family matters scheduled between Jan. 4 and Jan. 7 will be postponed due to “the rapid and concerning recent increase in COVID-19 in the province,” but all virtual proceedings will continue as planned.

The Supreme Court is asking all lawyers and accused people with scheduled appearances this week to phone the court at the time of their proceeding to arrange a new date.

It says criminal trials and preliminary inquiries for those already in custody will remain on the schedule with judges deciding if they should go ahead on the date of the proceedings.

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It says legal proceedings for those not in custody will be postponed automatically.

MORE FROM KEITH FRASER

— The 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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