Category "Local Health"

6May

COVID-19 update for May 6: 572 new cases, no deaths | Road checks begin

by admin

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 6, 2021.

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 May 5:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 132,925 (6,877 active cases)
• New cases since May 4: 572
• Total deaths: 1,597 (no deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 481
• Intensive care: 161
• Total vaccinations: 1,943,230 doses administered (93,656 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: (not available)
• Recovered: 124,252
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 9

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot 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 are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

12 a.m. –Roadside travel checks start

The B.C. RCMP will set up COVID-19 travel restriction road checks on four highways starting on Thursday.

In a prepared statement, B.C. RCMP spokesperson Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said there was a ban on non-essential travel between the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and North/Interior due to COVID-19.

The “COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Road Checks” will be located on Highway 1, near Boston Bar, Highway 3 in the Manning Park area, Highway 5 in the Old Toll Booth area, and Highway 99 in the Lillooet area.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Shoihet said there would be signage before each road check advising of the upcoming stop, with safe u-turn routes close by.

12 a.m. – 572 new cases reported Wednesday, no deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 572 new cases of COVID-19 and no deaths on Wednesday. She said there were 6,877 active cases in B.C., of which 481 were in hospital, including 161 people in intensive care. Most of the new cases were in Fraser Health (362), followed by Vancouver Coastal Health with 118 cases.

Henry said B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll was actually three fewer than the 1,597 reported on Tuesday due to a data correction.

B.C. is expected to hit the two million vaccination point over the next two days. So far, 1,943,230 doses have been administered at a rate now of between 30,000 and 40,000 a day.


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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

5May

COVID-19: B.C. to offer Pfizer vaccine to kids 12 and up, possibly before end of school year

by admin

B.C. health officials are working on a plan after Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in kids 12 and up.

Article content

B.C. kids aged 12 and older could receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine before the end of the school year, according to health officials.

Following Health Canada’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for use in children as young as 12, B.C. will integrate them into the province’s vaccine rollout, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday.

“We’re working on how do we do that and how do we do it in the most efficient way possible,” she said. “There’s lots of possibilities including making sure we can get that done prior to June.”

Henry said kids aged 12 and older could be fully immunized with two doses before the next school year, although younger children may have to wait until the end of the year because clinical trials for those ages are still ongoing.

Asked about vaccinating students at schools, Henry said B.C. is looking at how to vaccinate kids most efficiently.

“The good news is we have a lot of vaccines. If all goes as planned in the next few months, so between May and June, we will have quite a lot of vaccines, so we should be able to fit this into our program, and still reach that goal of having at least first doses into the entire population by the end of June,” she said.

Article content

There are about 300,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 in B.C.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Teri Mooring said the news comes as a “big relief” to teachers.

“I hope the plans include going to school sites to start vaccinating,” she said.

Mooring also wants to see the province’s the vaccination program for essential workers, like teachers, sped up so teacher have their second doses before September.

On Wednesday, Health Canada said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can now be given to kids as young as 12, making Canada the first country to authorize its use for children 12 and older. The vaccine was previously authorized for anyone 16 and older.

A trial of more than 2,200 youth in that age group in the United States recorded no cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated kids. The trial used the same size doses, and the same two-doses requirement, as the vaccine for adults.

Health Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said the evidence shows the vaccine is safe and effective for adolescents.

Sharma said about one-fifth of all cases of COVID-19 in Canada have occurred in children and teenagers, and having a vaccine for them is a critical part of Canada’s plan.

She said while most kids don’t experience serious illness from COVID-19, protecting them with a vaccine also helps protect their friends and family, who may be at higher risk of complications.

“It will also support the return to a more normal life for our children, who have had such a hard time over the past year,” she said.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company expects to have data on trials in kids between two and 11 years old in time to apply for authorization in the United States in September. The company has generally applied to Canada for approval around the same time.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expects to authorize the vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds next week.

More to come …

With files by the Canadian Press and Katie DeRosa

gluymes@postmedia.com

twitter.com/glendaluymes

5May

COVID-19: Roadside travel checks to start in B.C. on Thursday

by admin

Roadblocks on Highways 1, 3, 5 and 99 to ensure no non-essential travel between three health regions

Article content

The B.C. RCMP will set up COVID-19 travel restriction road checks on four highways starting on Thursday.

In a prepared statement, B.C. RCMP spokesperson Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said there was a ban on non-essential travel between the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and North/Interior due to COVID-19.

The “COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Road Checks” will be located on Highway 1, near Boston Bar, Highway 3 in the Manning Park area, Highway 5 in the Old Toll Booth area, and Highway 99 in the Lillooet area.

Shoihet said there would be signage before each road check advising of the upcoming stop, with safe u-turn routes close by.

“People travelling for essential reasons through those areas can expect traffic delays,” she said.

Commercial vehicles will not be subject to road checks.

At the road check, police officers will ask for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel.

If an officer determines that a person is travelling for non-essential reasons, they will be directed to leave the region. Those refusing to do so may face fines under the Emergency Program Act.

More to come.


Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com

5May

COVID-19 update for May 5: B.C. CDC admits virus is airborne | Active cases continue to fall | Pregnant women now prioritized for vaccine

by admin

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 5, 2021.

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 May 4:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 132,353 (7,161 active cases)
• New cases since May 3: 697
• Total deaths: 1,597 (1 new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 486
• Intensive care: 173
• Total vaccinations: 1,910,162 doses administered (92,244 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 10,961
• Recovered: 122,383
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 11

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

5 a.m. – B.C. Centre for Disease Control now accepts virus can linger in the air

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has changed its definition of COVID-19 spread, confirming the virus can be transferred by tiny aerosolized droplets and not just large droplets that fall quickly to the ground.

On Tuesday, the Centre updated its website, stating “COVID-19 spreads from a person with COVID-19 to others through smaller droplets known as aerosols.”

Until now, the Centre had stated the disease spreads only through large droplets.

That means the threat of catching COVID-19 isn’t only from large, virus-laden droplets that fall to the ground, but from small particles that can linger in the air for hours, building up in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, while quickly dispersing outdoors.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Therefore the size of an indoor space, how many people are in it, the length of exposure and air circulation all factor into how easily viral particles might spread.

The Centre states the risk of transmission of the disease by touching surfaces is very low.

-David Carrigg

5 a.m. – B.C. fears cross-border transmission as virus rages in Alberta

With signs on the B.C.-Alberta border the only thing to deter our provincial neighbours from vacationing here, there’s growing concern that Alberta’s high COVID-19 rates could spill into B.C., just as cases edge downward here.

Alberta has more than 23,000 active COVID-19 infections and has the highest case rate of any jurisdiction in North America. A record 154 infected people were in intensive care on Monday.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning that as Alberta grapples with the highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita in Canada, interprovincial travel could increase transmission in B.C.

Alberta’s daily COVID cases have been on a steady upward path since March, nearing 40 cases a day for every 100,000 people. In comparison, B.C.’s daily cases have been trending down since the second week of April, hitting about 17 dacases a day for every 100,000 people for the week of April 23 to 29.

On Tuesday night, Premier Jason Kenney announced all school students will move to online learning. Alberta will close restaurant patios, hair salons and tattoo parlours and reduce the capacity of retail shops to no more than 10 per cent of customer capacity. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people instead of 10.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

-Katie DeRosa

12 a.m. – Active and new cases continue to fall

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has reported 697 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and one death. Henry said there were 7,161 active cases of the disease, of which 486 were being treated in hospital including 173 in intensive care.

She said one person had died, bringing that tally to 1,597. The bulk of all new cases are occurring in the Fraser Health region, specifically Surrey.

Parts of northwest Surrey including Whalley and Newton had an average of 40 COVID-19 cases a day for every 100,0000 people, more than double the rate of most other areas of Metro Vancouver. In Whalley and Newton, more than 20 per cent of COVID-19 tests were positive, compared to 11 per cent for the whole province.

Henry said 1,817,918 British Columbians have received at least one dose of vaccine, as the province’s seven-day average daily case count and active cases continue to fall.

12 a.m. – Pregnant women in B.C. now prioritized for vaccine

Pregnant women are now being prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine, B.C. announced Tuesday.

The move follows Ontario and Quebec, which have moved pregnant women up the vaccine priority list as a result of increased risk of severe illness linked to COVID-19.

“All Health Canada-approved vaccines are safe and effective, and I encourage everyone to register and receive their vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Today, this includes people who are pregnant,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement Tuesday.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Pregnant people over the age of 16 can register at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated and phone 1-833-838-2323, identifying as being pregnant. Online booking for pregnant people is not available.

-Katie DeRosa


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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

4May

COVID-19: B.C. Centre for Disease Control now accepts virus can linger in the air

by admin

Until now, the BCCDC had stated the disease spreads only through large droplets

Article content

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has changed its definition of COVID-19 spread, confirming the virus can be transferred by tiny aerosolized droplets and not just large droplets that fall quickly to the ground.

On Tuesday, the BCCDC updated its website, stating “COVID-19 spreads from a person with COVID-19 to others through smaller droplets known as aerosols.”

Until now, the BCCDC had stated the disease spreads only through large droplets.

That means the threat of catching COVID-19 isn’t only from large, virus-laden droplets that fall to the ground, but from small particles that can linger in the air for hours, building up in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, while quickly dispersing outdoors.

Therefore the size of an indoor space, how many people are in it, the length of exposure and air circulation all factor into how easily viral particles might spread.

The BCCDC states the risk of transmission of the disease by touching surfaces is very low.

Article content

On Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 697 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and one death. Henry said there were 7,161 active cases of the disease, of which 486 were being treated in hospital including 173 in intensive care.

She said one person had died, bringing that tally to 1,597. The bulk of all new cases are occurring in the Fraser Health region, specifically Surrey.

Parts of northwest Surrey including Whalley and Newton had an average of 40 COVID-19 cases a day for every 100,0000 people, more than double the rate of most other areas of Metro Vancouver. In Whalley and Newton, more than 20 per cent of COVID-19 tests were positive, compared to 11 per cent for the whole province.

Henry said 1,817,918 British Columbians have received at least one dose of vaccine, as the province’s seven-day average daily case count and active cases continue to fall.

Meanwhile, pregnant women are now being given priority for the COVID-19 vaccine in B.C.

B.C. follows Ontario and Quebec, which moved pregnant women up the vaccine priority list because of increased risk of severe illness linked to COVID-19.

“All Health Canada-approved vaccines are safe and effective, and I encourage everyone to register and receive their vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Today, this includes people who are pregnant,” the provincial health officer, Henry said.

— with files from Katie DeRosa and Bloomberg

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com

4May

COVID-19 update for May 4: Surrey has highest rate of cases in B.C. | Entering a ‘new warp speed’ with vaccine supply | 2,174 cases, 15 deaths over the weekend

by admin

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 4, 2021.

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 May 3:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 131,656 (7,327 active cases)
• New cases since April 27: 2,174
• Total deaths: 1,596 (15 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 474
• Intensive care: 176
• Total vaccinations: 1,877,330 doses administered (91,731 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 11,781
• Recovered: 122,518
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 11

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

12 a.m. – Parts of Surrey grapple with high rates of infection, low rates of vaccination

Even as B.C. tries to douse COVID-19 hot spots with targeted and rapid vaccination, one area of Surrey has significantly higher infection rates than the rest of the province but lower vaccination uptake, according to internal data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Surrey continues to have the highest rate of COVID cases in the province with 29 per cent of all B.C. cases for the week of April 23 to 29, according to Disease Control information provided to Postmedia News but not released publicly.

Parts of northwest Surrey including Whalley and Newton had an average of 40 COVID-19 cases a day for every  100,0000 people, more than double the rate of most other areas of Metro Vancouver. In Whalley and Newton, more than 20 per cent of COVID-19 tests were positive, compared to 11 per cent for the whole province.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Those neighbourhoods, plus Guildford, had a lower first-dose vaccination rate. Just 21 to 40 per cent of adults in those neighbourhoods have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to between 41 and 60 per cent of adults in South Surrey, Delta and Langley.

Sarah Otto, a UBC epidemiologist, said the high rate of COVID cases and lower vaccination rates in northwest Surrey is an indication that “we’re not vaccinating fast enough in the places that are hardest hit.”

— Katie DeRosa

12 a.m. – Entering a ‘new warp speed’: Dr. Bonnie Henry on upcoming vaccine supply

More than a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in B.C. this month, according to the provincial health officer.

“We have reached a new and encouraging point in the vaccine supply,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “Starting today, the vaccine that we will be receiving will be increasing significantly. In the month of May alone,  we’ll be receiving over a million doses of vaccine available for people across the province.

“This is good news for all of us. It means that everybody who’s eligible, right now that’s down to age 16, will have access to a vaccine before Canada Day, and we think significantly before that.”

So far, B.C. has received 2,055,690 doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines — with Pfizer accounting for the majority. Close to 1.8 million people have been administered vaccine, which is around 40 per cent of the eligible population.

Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed 276,000 doses a week of Pfizer vaccine was to arrive in May, plus hundreds of thousands of doses of Moderna. It’s not known when more doses of AstraZeneca will arrive and a fourth approved vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has arrived in Canada but is not yet being distributed over concerns it may be tainted.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

“That leads us to think about the interval we have between dose 1 and dose 2,” Henry said, adding that fewer than 92,000 people had received the required two doses.

— David Carrigg

12 a.m. – Canadians should wait for Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if they can, federal advisory committee says

OTTAWA – The federal government’s vaccine advisory committee is recommending people who can wait for an mRNA vaccine, like Pfizer or Moderna, hold out for it, once again contradicting the long-standing advice to Canadians to get the first shot they’re offered.

On Monday, the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) issued its recommendation for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Due to an extremely rare blood clotting issue, NACI is recommending that the vaccine be given to people over the age of 30, who don’t want to wait for a mRNA vaccine.

NACI’s co-chair, Dr. Shelley Deeks, said the mRNA vaccines have been proven to offer strong protection and don’t come with the rare blood clot risk.

“What we’re saying and what we’ve said all along is that mRNA vaccines are the preferred vaccine,” she said.

NACI’s advice on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, created by its European division Janssen, is similar to the advice they offered when recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over 30 due to the blood clot risk.

The U.S. has administered roughly eight million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine and has reported 17 cases of the rare blood clot. Canada has administered just over two million AstraZeneca shots and has reported seven cases of the clot, one of which was fatal.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Deeks said while the clots were rare, they were extremely serious and Canadians deserved to know the risk, before they accepted a vaccine.

“They need to make an informed choice as to whether they would prefer to get vaccinated sooner with a Janssen, or AstraZeneca vaccine or wait to receive the mRNA vaccine,” she said.

— Postmedia News


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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

3May

COVID-19: More than a million doses of vaccine to arrive in B.C. in May

by admin

“We’ve been building a spaceship as we’ve been flying it, and we’re now entering into a new era, and new warp speed if you will,” Dr. Henry says about vaccine supply bonanza

Article content

More than a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in B.C. this month, according to the provincial health officer.

“We have reached a new and encouraging point in the vaccine supply,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “Starting today, the vaccine that we will be receiving will be increasing significantly. In the month of May alone,  we’ll be receiving over a million doses of vaccine available for people across the province.

“This is good news for all of us. It means that everybody who’s eligible, right now that’s down to age 16, will have access to a vaccine before Canada Day, and we think significantly before that.”

So far, B.C. has received 2,055,690 doses of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines — with Pfizer accounting for the majority. Close to 1.8 million people have been administered vaccine, which is around 40 per cent of the eligible population.

Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed 276,000 doses a week of Pfizer vaccine was to arrive in May, plus hundreds of thousands of doses of Moderna. It’s not known when more doses of AstraZeneca will arrive and a fourth approved vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has arrived in Canada but is not yet being distributed over concerns it may be tainted.

Article content

“That leads us to think about the interval we have between dose 1 and dose 2,” Henry said, adding that fewer than 92,000 people had received the required two doses.

“With the new increased supply that we have, we are looking at the potential of decreasing the interval (between first and second doses) to less than 16 weeks for most people. Right now, those people who received their vaccines early on in the program are getting notified about their second dose, and we’ve been doing that and we’ll continue to do that as more people get up to that three- to four-month mark in the next month.”

B.C.’s seven-day-average daily case count has been falling since April 21, one week after the government banned indoor dining and travel outside health regions. B.C.’s active case count is also falling, as is the number of people being admitted to hospital. This means the third wave of COVID-19 in B.C. is weakening.

Henry reported 2,174 new cases of the disease over the past three days and 15 deaths. All but one of those deaths was in persons aged over 70, bringing that total to 1,596. There are 7,327 active cases of COVID-19 of which 474 are being treated in hospital including 176 in intensive care.

Henry said the despite the increasing numbers of people immunized and improving case numbers, there will be no large indoor of outdoor events this summer, winter or fall. Her comment came as the Celebration of Light fireworks event in downtown Vancouver was cancelled for 2021.

“I can say there is not likely to be big events of any sort, even outdoors, through this summer and into the fall and winter of next year,” Henry said.

“But I can see many situations where we could have smaller, distanced, outdoor events this summer with perhaps hundreds of people.”

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


Get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com

3May

COVID-19 update for May 3 : Canada to receive 2m vaccine doses this week | Vaccine bookings continue for 50+ | Possible COVID-19 outbreak at Toronto quarantine hotel

by admin

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for May 3, 2021.

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 April 30:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 129,482 (7,886 active cases)
• New cases since April 26: 740
• Total deaths: 1,581 (4 new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 511
• Intensive care: 174
• Total vaccinations: 1,749,375 doses administered (90,296 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 11,727
• Recovered: 119,785
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 12

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

On Friday, B.C. reported 740 new coronavirus cases as well as four additional deaths.

Out of 7,886 active cases, 511 people were in hospital with COVID-19, including 174 in intensive care.

The death toll from COVID-19 in B.C. was at 1,581.

6:30 a.m. – Seize on pandemic-fuelled enthusiasm for outdoors to expand protected wilderness, former parks chief urges

A former Parks Canada head says governments should look to expand protected wilderness in Canada, seizing on the enthusiasm for the outdoors that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it does help alleviate the potential impacts on existing parks and I think it creates new opportunities for people to connect with nature,” said Alan Latourelle, who headed the federal agency between 2002 and 2015. “We have a base of public support that we should seize at this time.”

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The pressures of urban sprawl makes it more difficult to protect spaces in urban areas, and, particularly in the north, competing land uses — mainly the desire for resource extraction — pose a challenge for additional protected spaces, said Latourelle.

“I think we’re the last generation that has the opportunity to make a significant expansion of our parks program,” he said.

In recent weeks, Alberta’s government has moved to add user fees to some of its protected areas, citing the conservation needs from increased visitors seeking to get out of the city. This includes a $90 annual pass for Kananaskis Country — an area just west of Calgary — and $30 fees for random camping on Crown lands.

— Postmedia News

6:10 a.m. – Toronto public health looking into possible COVID-19 outbreak at quarantine hotel

Toronto public health officials are investigating a possible COVID-19 outbreak at a hotel where travellers arriving in Canada by plane are expected to quarantine.

In a statement issued over the weekend, Toronto Public Health says it is aware of cases in people linked to the workplace at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

The agency says it has assigned staff to identify all cases connected to the facility and advise on any appropriate health and infection-control measures.

It says no further details will be provided at this time due to privacy concerns.

The Crowne Plaza is listed as one of the designated quarantine hotels for travellers arriving in Canada through Toronto.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The federal government requires anyone flying into the country to isolate in a hotel for three nights to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

— The Canadian Press

5:20 a.m. – Canada to receive 2m vaccine doses this week as Pfizer-BioNTech ramp up deliveries

Canada is set to begin receiving more than two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week as the two pharmaceutical firms ramp up their deliveries and begin shipping shots from the United States.

Pfizer and BioNTech have been consistently delivering around one million doses from Brussels each week since mid-March, but those numbers will double over the next month before increasing further in June.

This week’s doses will also be the first to arrive from Pfizer’s plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., after the U.S. government previously restricted vaccine exports to inoculate its own citizens.

There was no immediate word, however, on progress in talks with the U.S. over the provision of more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is in high demand across the country.

Federal Public Service and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Friday that Ottawa was “being very aggressive, especially with the supplier.”

Demand for the shot has skyrocketed after several provinces dropped the eligible age for the vaccine to 40-plus, and Anand has said Canada will receive four million total doses by the end of June, but the government does not have a detailed schedule of when they will actually arrive.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses are the only shots scheduled for arrival in Canada over the next seven days, with Moderna slated to deliver its next shipment of more than one million doses next week.

The feds also haven’t said when they will release doses of the single-shot vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, after the first 300,000 jabs arrived in Canada last week.

More than 173,000 new vaccinations were reported across the country on Saturday, bringing the total number of doses given to 13,825,476.

Nationwide, 1,128,778 people or 3 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

— The Canadian Press

5 a.m. – Vaccine bookings to begin for 50+ over the next week

Everyone in the province 50 years and older (born 1971 or earlier) registered to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be receiving an email or text notification in the coming week inviting them to book an appointment, as the province’s age-based program moves ahead.

People must be registered through B.C.’s Get Vaccinated system to get an email or text notification prompting them to book an appointment when it is their turn. Anyone who is not registered should register in one of three ways:

People 50 and up can expect to start receiving the email and text notifications on the following days:

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

  • Friday, April 30: 56 and up (1965 or earlier)
  • Sunday, May 2: 54 and up (1967 or earlier)
  • Tuesday, May 4: 52 and up (1969 or earlier
  • Thursday, May 6: 50 and up (1971 or earlier)

12 a.m. – Metro Vancouver hospitality’s front line still slammed by pandemic

Downtown Vancouver bartender Jamie Mah used to boast that hospitality was something close to recession-proof.

“Because when, you know, things go dour, people still want to eat and drink,” said Mah, who usually tends bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. “But I wasn’t expecting a pandemic. That was the one thing I wasn’t predicting.”

Over the last 13 months, it has been a roller coaster for Mah — from a high of business being the best he had seen just before COVID-19, to the low of a three-month lockdown last spring with the fear and uncertainty that came along with it.

Restaurants and bars have been slower to recover from last year’s pandemic-related shutdown than other sectors of the economy as venues adjusted to restrictions designed to limit direct contact between people.

Limited seating capacities and shorter operating hours require less staff, and leave fewer shifts available for servers and bartenders.

Industry insiders estimate that employment in restaurants and bars was down by about 30 per cent before the Dr. Henry’s March 29 “circuit-breaker,” said Ian Tostenson, CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, which represents about 60,000 workers.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

“It could be another 10,000 people higher than that, just because in-store dining has been shut,” he added.

— Derrick Penner


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

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

3May

COVID-19: Stress is up, but mental health improving for business owners during pandemic

by admin

A new survey shows business owners continue to be stressed, but they hope vaccines mean that consumers will one day soon return to malls, restaurants and local services.

Article content

Running a small business through the pandemic has been like balancing on the end of a yo-yo for Jullianna Charlton, who has endured multiple highs and lows with her clothing company over the last year.

“As an entrepreneur, this business is my baby. And when you see your baby going through all of these trials and tribulations of life, you do your best to protect it,” said Charlton, owner of NoMiNoU, which sells locally created active wear in Tsawwassen Mills mall.

“I’m worried about my employees as well. I can survive on a bare bones budget and all that. But it’s the people that rely on me.”

NoMiNoU, which opened in 2014, has 22 employees and pays royalties to eight artists who create the designs for the “athleisure” line of clothes. It is holding its own financially, but Charlton worried a year ago that her business might not survive the pandemic, then hit a high last spring when she pivoted to selling face masks and online sales boomed, but then recently hit a low again when Ontario and Quebec stores cancelled online orders for her stock after those provinces were hit with lockdowns.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

“It’s been a real yo-yo,” said Charlton, who looks after her own mental health by doing yoga and talking to herself about problems. “It went from, ‘Holy crap, oh my god’ to ‘Oh, this is great’ to ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen again.’ … There’s been way more late nights, sleepless nights for me.”

Jullianna Charlton, CEO of NoMiNoU clothing.
Jullianna Charlton, CEO of NoMiNoU clothing.

Charlton, a good-humoured and resilient entrepreneur, is not alone experiencing this kind of stress and mental health angst.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will release a new survey today that shows while the mental health of business owners has improved slightly since the start of the pandemic, their stress levels continue to rise. The survey was conducted during the first two weeks of March, before the third wave descended on B.C., and with further restrictions now in place it is likely these sources of stress have increased again for entrepreneurs, the bank said in a statement.

The survey found two thirds of business owners are now adjusting relatively well to COVID, although one third are still struggling, an improvement compared to last August, when the BDC conducted its first survey. However, mental health challenges today continue to be more pronounced for younger entrepreneurs, and among those whose businesses continue to struggle financially.

More than half (56 per cent) of business owners want a better work-life balance, and this concern was highest in B.C. compared to the other provinces, a BDC spokeswoman said.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

While there are signs that Canadian business owners are feeling less overwhelmed by the financial impact of the pandemic, it is clear that many are still struggling: Half say they have not coped with mental health challenges effectively, and more than half say they feel tired or lack energy.

When it comes to stress, more than half of entrepreneurs (52 per cent) say they are worried about the impact of COVID restrictions on their companies, and that’s up since November, when the BDC conducted its second survey. In this third survey, stress levels had increased over the economic recession, survival of businesses, and the health impact of COVID on owners and their families.

Vancouver-based FISPAN, which uses a platform to connect banks directly to businesses’ accounting systems, has seen sales skyrocket during the pandemic, so the five-year-old startup is not under financial stress. But co-founder Andrea Zand still has other worries during the pandemic.

“The biggest stress right now is because of how much we’re growing. … Keeping the company culture while we’re hiring remotely has been a big stress of ours, making sure everyone’s still connecting the way that they should be connecting and that no one’s feeling isolated,” she said.

“Offering them tools for support, offering them check ins, and the company really showing up with other activities to keep their spirits high. We still do everything that we did before COVID, just virtually — birthdays, corporate parties, celebrations.”

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Zand and her co-workers were feeling Zoom fatigue in the winter, and then spirits rose with the sunnier weather this spring, but they’ve fallen again with this latest round of restrictions during B.C.’s third wave. Zand looks after her own mental health, so she can help to motivate her team, by “doubling down on reading books and meditation exercise.”

The BDC, which offers banking services to entrepreneurs, found that at the time of the survey, 41 per cent of Canadian businesses were either closed or only partly operating. These national findings are similar to more local studies: A Vancouver Board of Trade survey released in January found only half of businesses expect to return to normal when government support ends, a quarter expect to layoff employees and more than one out of every five plan to reduce employee hours.

Charlton, though, feels optimistic that the vaccine rollout will mean consumers will one day soon be given the green light to return to malls, restaurants and services, which will ideally mean a big boost in sales again for local companies. And that gives her hope.

“If I can get through this (pandemic), there’s nothing I can’t get through now. And so in some ways, it’s empowering to know that we are surviving, we’re getting through it, we’ll get through it. It’s not been the year that I had hoped and projected it would be, but we’re still profitable, we’re still strong,” she said.

The BDC surveyed 507 businesses between March 1 and 12. For this sample size, the maximum margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

lculbert@postmedia.com

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

2May

My Beautiful Home, Vancouver: Jack Roche, 91, writes his first song

by admin

Stay at hospice inspires longtime Vancouverite to pen an ode to the city he loves: ‘This is where I am meant to be.’

Article content

Vancouver, he is back; to his city by the sea he is back, he is back.

The words, with the pronouns altered slightly, are Jack Roche’s, lyrics to the first song he’s ever written (but not the last, he promises).

He is 91, and is feeling revitalized.

Roche was admitted to the St. John Hospice at the University of B.C. in November because of pulmonary fibrosis, He was terribly sick and weak, and not expected to have long to live. His family — wife Gail, daughter Jenny, son Tom and daughter-in-law Naz — readied themselves for the worst.

They could never have expected to see the animation and joy on his face as Josh Denny-Keys, the music therapist for Providence Health Care, sat beside him with his guitar and sang, via Zoom, the song Roche wrote.

Hospice care is often misunderstood, Roche said. When asked if his stay at St. John has reinvigorated him, he answered with a resounding “Yes, 100 per cent!” before the question was even finished. He compared the care he’s getting at the hospice with living in a five-star resort.

Article content

“It can actually be an energizing, positive experience for some people,” Denny-Keys said, adding he has seen some patients gain a new sense of purpose.

Jack Roche, holding guitar, and his son Tom.
Jack Roche, holding guitar, and his son Tom. Photo by Francis Georgian /PNG

Born in 1930, Roche grew up in Toronto and visited Vancouver for the first time in 1958. It was love at first site and he moved to the city for good in 1964 (living in a float shack in Coal Harbour in the beginning).

Roche was mostly a pipefitter. Joining UA 170, the plumbers’ union, was the second-best thing he ever did, he said; the best was marrying his wife Gail, who retired as head registered nurse at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

But being resourceful and resilient, Roche also reinvented himself many times over. He had been a dairy farmer, tobacco picker, fisherman, diamond driller, and logger, working as far afield as Inuvik, Labrador, and Trinidad and Tobago. He’s also a good teller of jokes.

So in a way, Tom’s dad writing the lyrics for a song to express gratitude for health, improved spirits and the care at St. John Hospice wasn’t too much of a surprise.

And Roche is a music-lover, with tastes that range from opera to blues and jazz.

Having trouble sleeping, he began listening to Frank Sinatra sing New York, New York, among other songs, and it’s that Ol’ Blue Eyes standard (along with Don’t Cry for me Argentina) that inspired him to write about the city he loves and calls home.

He awoke one day in early April and jotted down the lyrics, wanting mainly to thank everyone at St. John Hospice. When staff read his lyrics, nurse Kelly Konyk, the site coordinator at the hospice, got in touch with Denny-Keys to set the words to music.

Roche made it clear he didn’t want something too sentimental and Denny-Keys said the lyrics made it easy to write the pleasing melody.

“It took about a half-an-hour,” he said.

You can listen to his song online: “As I gaze out the window, here at my final home, the warm and loving St. John Hospice, where the river meets the sea, Vancouver, this is where I’m meant to be.”

gordmcintyre@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordmcintyre

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.