COVID-19 update for Jan. 12: B.C. hospitalizations continue to rise | 4 in 10 Canadians know someone recently infected | Vaccine appointments jump in Quebec after anti-vaxx tax announcement

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. 12, 2022.


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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.


As of the latest figures given on Jan. 11:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 286,080 (36,087 active)
• New cases: 2,239
• Total deaths: 2,449 (three new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 469 (up by 38)
• Intensive care: 97 (up by two)
• Total vaccinations: 4,273,371 received first dose (92.2% of eligible pop. 12+); 4,146,186 second doses (89.4%); 1,239,995 third doses (26.8%)
• Recovered from acute infection: 244,551
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 45


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


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


‘Democratization of COVID’: Four in 10 Canadians know someone recently infected, poll finds

Nearly four in 10 Canadians know someone close to them who has been infected with COVID-19 in the past 10 days, a new poll shows — further evidence that appears to support a warning from B.C’s provincial health officer, that all will be exposed to Omicron at some point.


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If everyone will inevitably be exposed, what then? Will it “normalize” COVID? The more people who experience COVID, and the more who fare relatively well because of vaccination, the more people will become resigned to simply living with the virus and increasingly weary of — and increasingly vocal about expressing their displeasure with — social restrictions, some observers say.

One eminent group of scientists is already calling for the focus to shift to “the ‘new normal’ of life with COVID,” a life that doesn’t include eradication or a “zero COVID” strategy, but one that sees COVID monitored along with the flu and other respiratory viruses, and a “peak week threshold” for hospitalizations and deaths established that, if crossed, would trigger the emergency use of measures to slow the spread.


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According to a new Maru Public Opinion survey, 38 per cent of Canadians know someone in their immediate family or circle of friends who has contracted COVID in the last 10 days, up from just 11 per cent who said so on Dec. 20. Ontario residents are most likely to know someone who has recently acquired COVID (42 per cent).

Read the full story here.

— Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia News

Parents urged to screen for diabetes symptoms after link found to COVID infections in kids

Researchers and physicians are urging parents to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes in children who have been infected with COVID-19.

Children were more likely to get a new diabetes diagnosis 30 or more days after being infected with COVID than those who had not been infected, according to new research published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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COVID-19 doesn’t cause diabetes. But, for children who are predisposed, a virus can trigger an autoimmune process that damages the pancreas, said Dr. Sarah Lawrence, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Ottawa.

“A virus — it could be just a cold — puts stress on the body. We see this all the time,” she said. “They have pre-diabetes for a period of months or years, then they tip out.”

Read the full story here.

— Ottawa Citizen

Two B.C. schools move to ‘functional closure’ after holiday break, says ministry

Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside says local school administration officials, including principals, make decisions about closing in-person classes and moving to temporary online teaching.


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The Education Ministry says schools in Hazelton and Surrey recently made the decision.

Ginger Fuller, secretary treasurer of the Coast Mountain School District, says officials will meet Wednesday to decide when to reopen Hazelton Secondary School to regular classes after it was closed because of a staff shortage, which was the result of “illness.”

The ministry said the independent Bibleway Christian Academy in Surrey has also suspended in-person classes.

Read the full story here.

— The Canadian Press

Appointments for first dose jump after Quebec announces ‘anti-vax tax’

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé on Wednesday announced that appointments to receive a first dose of vaccine have jumped significantly over the past 48 hours.


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Dubé posted on his Twitter account that 5,000 appointments for first doses were booked on Monday, while 7,000 were recorded Tuesday. The appointments were made in all age groups.

Tuesday’s increase in appointments came as Quebec Premier François Legault announced that unvaccinated Quebecers would be compelled to pay a “health contribution” to finance the extra strain put on the health care network by unvaccinated COVID-19 cases.

— Montreal Gazette

2,239 new cases, 3 deaths and 38 more people hospitalized in B.C.

Health officials are reporting 2,239 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. over the past 24 hours and yet another jump in hospitalizations.

There are now 469 people in hospital across the province, an increase of 38 over the previous day. Of those, 97 people are in the ICU, an increase of two.


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Three more deaths attributed to the disease were also reported, one each in Fraser Health, Interior Health and Northern Health.

The official active case count now stands at 36,087, though the true number is believed to be much higher with many people unable to get a PCR test.

Omicron transmission expected to continue in coming weeks

There’s no end in sight yet.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said high rates of COVID-19 transmission across British Columbia “is anticipated to continue for the next few weeks” during a health ministry briefing on Tuesday.

“If we look at what we’re seeing in other jurisdictions that have been ahead of us in terms of this wave around Canada and around the world, we may be entering soon into the place where we will see a decline,” she said.


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“But right now, our primary focus needs to be on keeping as much as possible open in our communities, and ensuring that we have that balance that our health care system is not getting overwhelmed as stretched as it is.”

According to Henry, a good number of hospitalizations are still those who had contracted the Delta variant – some of which have been in hospital for some time – but that because hospitalizations are a “lagging indicator” of infection, the full impact on hospitals from Omicron remains to be seen.

Henry also cited a number of antiviral treatments under review by federal health officials, noting that they may be available to B.C. as early as later this month.

In the meantime, Henry said restrictions would remain in place, though officials would begin to look at what could change now that businesses will have re-implemented their COVID-19 safety plans, under a health order that was announced last week.


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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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