Posts Tagged "cases"

18Oct

COVID-19 update for Oct. 18: Moderna appears to give higher antibody levels than Pfizer: Henry | Colin Powell dies at 84 from COVID-19 complications | 667 new cases, 13 deaths on Friday

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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 Oct. 18, 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 Oct. 15:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 196,433 (5,128 active)
• New cases since Oct. 13: 667
• Total deaths: 2,055 (13 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 367
• Intensive care: 152
• Total vaccinations: 4,126,668 received first dose; 3,848,689 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 188,851
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 19

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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.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine proving to last longer than rival from Pfizer, says B.C. provincial health officer

The COVID-19 vaccine produced by Moderna is proving to be longer lasting than its rival Pfizer vaccine and better suited as a booster shot for some people who are severely immunocompromised, according to B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

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Both vaccines are approved for use in Canada and widely used in B.C.

At a press conference last week, Henry said her office was increasingly getting information on which vaccines worked as well or better than others — based mostly on studies of COVID-19 antibodies remaining in people’s blood after vaccination.

This antibody response is crucial to how vaccines work, as this response is what fights off the disease.

“As I said many times, we don’t yet have an absolute correlative protection (100 per cent protection), but Moderna seems to give higher antibody levels that stay longer,” Henry said.

This was most likely because the Moderna mRNA vaccine has a higher amount of antigen (the substance that creates an immune response) than the Pfizer vaccine.

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Read more HERE .

— David Carrigg

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dies of COVID-19 complications

WASHINGTON — Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state and top military officer, died on Monday at the age of 84 due to complications from COVID-19. He was fully vaccinated, his family said in a statement on Facebook.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” his family said.

Powell was one of America’s foremost Black figures for decades.

Powell, who was wounded in Vietnam, served as U.S. national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989. As a four-star Army general, he was chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush during the 1991 Gulf War.

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Powell, a moderate Republican and a pragmatist, considered a bid to become the first Black president in 1996 but his wife Alma’s worries about his safety helped him decide otherwise. In 2008, he broke with his party to endorse Democrat Barack Obama, who became the first Black elected to the White House.

— Reuters

Cancelled flights and tightened rules hit travellers from Vancouver to Hong Kong

Vancouver travel agent Glynnis Chan’s client was on the Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong last week where one passenger aboard was confirmed to have COVID-19 when tested upon arrival.

The case, in part, led to Hong Kong’s Department of Health banning Air Canada flights from Vancouver to Hong Kong for the next two weeks until Oct. 29, and is an example of the unpredictable snafus that can crop up, said Chan.

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In an email, an Air Canada spokesperson said passengers on the four now cancelled Vancouver to Hong Kong flights are being rebooked or given refunds if rebooking within three hours of their original departure time isn’t possible.

“Things can change very quickly, even just when you land,” said Chan.

Authorities in Hong Kong are tightening rules after 58 of the total 59 reported COVID cases for the first half of October were attributed to incoming travellers.

Read more HERE .

— Joanne Lee-Young

667 new cases of COVID-19, 13 deaths

B.C. reported 667 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, for a total of 196,433 cases in the province.

There are 5,128 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 188,851 people who tested positive have recovered.

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Of the active cases, 367 individuals are in hospital and 152 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.


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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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.

16Oct

COVID-19 update for Oct. 16-17: 667 new cases, 13 deaths | Deadly outbreak at Burnaby care home shows booster shots needed sooner | U.S. will accept mixed doses of vaccines from international travelers

by admin

Read more HERE .

— Gordon Hoekstra

Health professionals in private practice face vaccine order

B.C. doctors, dentists and other health professionals in private practice will soon be required to get vaccinated.

The provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued an order Friday putting unvaccinated health professionals on notice that they would be required to be vaccinated in order to see patients or provide care or services in B.C.

The notice was directed at health professionals not covered by previous orders, including those who work in private practice and do not have privileges at a hospital or health-care facility. Henry’s order did not set a deadline.

COVID-19 vaccinations are already mandatory for staff at long-term care homes and assisted living facilities. Anyone who works in a health-care facility, including hospitals, will be required to be fully immunized by Oct. 26.

Read more HERE .

 — Cheryl Chan

667 new cases of COVID-19, 13 deaths

B.C. reported 667 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, for a total of 196,433 cases in the province.

There are 5,128 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 188,851 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 367 individuals are in hospital and 152 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Getting answers on which B.C. schools still need ventilation updates proving frustrating

About 50 schools across B.C. are scheduled for upgrades to their ventilation systems during this academic year, so that the air in these crowded buildings is safer for kids and teachers during the pandemic.

These improvements, funded through the Education Ministry’s capital budget, are in addition to the 84 schools that had HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system updates in the 2020-21 academic year.

The province, however, has nearly 1,600 public schools. So once these projects are completed at these 125 or so schools over the two years since COVID arrived, how many of the remaining schools still need this type of work?

Finding an answer to this question was impossible because there is no centralized list. The ministry has left it up to each of B.C.’s 60 school boards to decide which buildings need ventilation upgrades and how those improvements should be achieved. The ministry has also left communication about these plans with the districts, and as a result many parents and teachers were left frustrated about a lack of clear answers.

Read more HERE.

-Lori Culbert

U.S. will accept mixed doses of vaccines from international travelers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said late on Friday that it will accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from international travelers, a boost to travelers from Canada and other places.

The CDC said last week that it would accept any vaccine authorized for use by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization.

“While CDC has not recommended mixing types of vaccine in a primary series, we recognize that this is increasingly common in other countries so should be accepted for the interpretation of vaccine records,” a CDC spokeswoman said.

The White House said Friday the new vaccine requirements for foreign nationals traveling to the United States will begin Nov. 8 for visitors crossing at land borders as well as international air travelers.

-Reuters

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:

15Oct

COVID-19 update for Oct. 15: New ‘circuit-breaker’ restrictions introduced in northern B.C. | 10 deaths feared in outbreak at Burnaby care home | 580 new cases, nine deaths | B.C.’s vaccine cards hit with constitutional challenge

by admin

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the new measures are meant to stop transmission and save lives. The new rules covers the entire health region, except for areas including Terrace and Kitimat that had high rates of vaccination, effective Oct. 15 until Nov. 19.

  • Personal gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, will be restricted to fully vaccinated people only.
  • Indoor personal gatherings are limited to five vaccinated people, while outdoor personal gatherings are limited to 25.
  • All indoor and outdoor organized events, such as weddings and parties, will require a COVID-19 safety plan and masks. Guests also have to be fully vaccinated. These indoor organized events are capped at 50, while outdoor events are capped at 100.
  • In-person worship services are closed, and will be limited to virtual services only

On Wednesday, the province reported 67 new cases of COVID-19 in the Northern Health Region and three deaths. There are 689 active cases in the region of about 300,000 people, which is only 32 fewer than currently active in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, a region that serves 1.25 million people.

10 deaths feared in outbreak at Burnaby care home

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Burnaby long-term care facility includes 90 cases and a death toll that’s expected to rise.

Out of the 90 infections at the Willingdon Care Centre in Burnaby, 69 are among residents in the 95-bed facility, while 21 cases involve staff, according to the most recent data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Three residents have died. On Thursday, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said due to a delay in reporting, he expects the number of deaths to rise to 10 in the coming days.

Dix said there has been a number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities, particularly in Interior Health, but the outbreak at Willingdon Care Centre is “by a significant margin, our most significant outbreak.”

Fraser Health declared an outbreak at the care home just over two weeks ago, on Sept. 28, when one resident tested positive. By Oct. 5, 39 residents and six staff have contracted the virus.

-Cheryl Chan

B.C.’s vaccine cards hit with constitutional challenge

In what may be a first for B.C., two women with physical disabilities have filed a constitutional challenge to the provincial government’s COVID-19 vaccine cards.

But a former B.C. attorney-general asked to comment on the case cautioned that Charter rights are not absolute and the government would likely argue that any infringement of the petitioners’ rights would be justified to prevent further harm caused by the pandemic.

The B.C. Supreme Court petition filed by Sarah Webb and Leigh Anne Eliason seeks a number of court orders including an injunction staying the legal effect or enforcement of the vaccine card orders.

Webb, a 39-year-old mother of two who lives and works in both Victoria and Calgary, says she got her first COVID-19 vaccine shot on May 2 but developed a reaction that included fatigue, cramping, heart arrhythmia and severe pain.

Read more HERE.

-Keith Fraser

B.C. ski resorts scramble to recruit winter workforce thinned out by COVID travel restrictions

Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna saw a surprising flurry of job applicants following the Thanksgiving long weekend to fill some of the 650 positions it’s trying to fill for the upcoming ski season, not that it takes any pressure off senior vice-president Michael Ballingall.

In a normal year, Big White would get five to six applicants for every position it offers, this year, deep in B.C.’s fourth wave of COVID-19, “we don’t have one-to-one,” Ballingall said, which is currently typical across a lot of ski resorts in the province.

Skiing proved to be a popular outdoor outlet for a lot of British Columbians during the first waves of the pandemic, which has resorts banking on another solid season.

Recruiting, however, remains a challenge as earlier COVID-related travel restrictions still make it difficult to secure the usual pool of snow-seeking foreign visitors that resorts traditionally relied on to fill out their workforce, and resorts compete with all other hospitality businesses to hire from an increasingly thin local labour pool.

Read more HERE.

-Derrick Penner

14Oct

COVID-19 update for Oct. 14: Point Roberts leaders want COVID test exemption for Canadian visitors |605 new cases, four deaths | Canadian snowbirds look forward to flocking to U.S. again next month | Alberta judge hands out fines instead of jail to prevent notoriety for violators

by admin

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 Oct. 14, 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 Oct. 13:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 195,186 (5,172 active)
• New cases since Oct. 12: 605
• Total deaths: 2,033 (four additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 357 (up 21)
• Intensive care: 153 (stable)
• Total vaccinations: 4,120,063 received first dose; 3,835,506 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 187,564
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 19

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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.

Point Roberts leaders want COVID test exemption for Canadian visitors

COVID-19 testing requirements for Canadians driving home from the United States could only prolong the hardships for the tiny coastal town of Point Roberts, Wash., community leaders say.

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Brian Calder, president of the Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce, said that before COVID-19, the community would see about 1.5 million visitors each year, but half of them often spent an hour or less in the town getting cheaper gas, buying groceries or checking on their cabins or boats.

When the U.S. border reopens to vaccinated Canadians, there will be no testing requirement to go south, but Canada requires a negative COVID-19 test to return and Calder said that’s a problem for Point Roberts.

Point Roberts only offers testing on Wednesdays and Sundays, which he said would limit Canadian visitors.

He said he’s hoping the Canadian government lifts the testing regulation for the town.

-The Canadian Press

Intensive care patient numbers stable in B.C. as 605 new cases reported

The number of people in intensive care in B.C. with COVID-19 is stable at 153, according to figures released on Wednesday.

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There were 605 new cases reported over the past day and four deaths (bringing that toll to 2,033). There are now 5,172 active cases of the disease (a slight drop) of which 374 are being treated in hospital including the 153 in intensive care. These hospital numbers do not include patients who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and remain there but are no longer contagious.

Eighty two point seven per cent of B.C.’s population aged 12 and over is now fully vaccinated.

Canadian snowbirds look forward to flocking to U.S. again next month

While Canadian snowbirds are looking forward to being able to drive across the border to the United States next month, U.S. businesses in border areas are worried about the kind of restrictions Canada will place on travellers returning home.

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The U.S. has announced it will remove restrictions on travellers who are fully vaccinated entering the country by land from Canada and Mexico some time in early November.

A pair of snowbirds who look forward to the change are Wendy Caban and her husband Geoff, both 73.

They’re already planning the four-day trip from their home in Lake Country in the Okanagan Valley to Mesa, Ariz.

Wendy Caban said they won’t head to the border crossing at Oroville-Osoyoos on the day the change takes effect. She said they’ll wait several days to see what the lineups are like.

“We are dancing jigs around our living room,” she said of the announcement.

“All snowbirds have been anxiously awaiting this news.”

-Kevin Griffin

Point Roberts leaders want COVID test exemption for Canadian visitors

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Alberta judge hands out fines instead of jail to prevent notoriety for COVID-19 violators

An Alberta judge has decided to spare a pastor, his brother and a cafe owner jail time for violating COVID-19 rules because he didn’t want the three men to cash in on the notoriety of additional time behind bars.

Justice Adam Germain says that Pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski, will face stiff fines because they would like nothing better than to become martyrs with additional time in jail.

Alberta Health Services had recommended 21 days for the pastor and 10 days for his brother, but Germain opted for a $23,000 fine for Artur Pawlowski and $10,000 for Dawid Pawlowski plus probation, which will prevent them from leaving Alberta.

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The Pawlowski brothers, who are from Calgary, were arrested in May and accused of organizing an illegal gathering as well as promoting and attending an illegal gathering.

Christopher Scott, owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe in the hamlet of Mirror, northeast of Red Deer, will pay $20,000 in fines and get 18 months probation as well.

He was also arrested in May at the end of an anti-lockdown rally.

-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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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.

13Oct

COVID-19 update for Oct. 13: U.S. to lift Canada land border restrictions in Nov. for vaccinated visitors | Almost 2,000 workers in B.C.’s long-term and assisted-living homes refuse vaccination, risk dismissal | Outbreak at Tofino Hospital | 2,029 new cases, and 28 deaths on long 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 Oct. 13, 2021.

Advertisement

Article content

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 Oct. 12:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 194,581 (5,183 active)
• New cases since Oct. 8: 2,090 (603/634/468/385)
• Total deaths: 2,029 (28 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 357 (down three)
• Intensive care: 153 (up 16)
• Total vaccinations: 4,117,400 received first dose; 3,830,063 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 186,955
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 20

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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.

Almost 2,000 workers in B.C.’s long-term and assisted-living homes refuse vaccination, risk dismissal

About four per cent of the 49,000 people who work at B.C.’s long-term and assisted-living homes hadn’t been vaccinated for COVID-19 by Tuesday, the first day a public health order requiring them to have at least one dose as a condition of their employment came into effect.

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A similar order is coming later this month for health care workers in acute and community care settings.

For one of the largest LTCs, Menno Place in Abbotsford with 675 employees, that meant nine permanent workers and 19 casual employees were forbidden by a public health order from working and face termination in two weeks unless they get vaccinated, said CEO Karen Biggs.

“Some people chose to retire at this time rather than be vaccinated,” she told Postmedia via email. “Others are on long term disability or leaves so we don’t know their vaccination status.”

The province has collected data from all but four of the 546 long-term and assisted-living homes in the province. Of the 48,897 staff members approximately 96 per cent have had their first dose, and 93 per cent have had both doses.

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-Susan Lazaruk

U.S. to lift Canada land border restrictions in Nov. for vaccinated visitors

The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic, two U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The rules, which will be formally announced by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, will cover land borders and ferry crossings. They are similar but not identical to planned requirements announced last month for international air travelers, the officials said in a call with reporters.

Lawmakers from U.S border states praised the move to lift the unprecedented restrictions which harmed the economies of local communities and prevented visits to friends and families.

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“Since the beginning of the pandemic, members of our shared cross-border community have felt the pain and economic hardship of the land border closures. That pain is about to end,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

-Reuters

RCMP investigating after man glues doors shut at Langford vaccine clinic

RCMP on Vancouver Island are investigating after the door locks of a Langford COVID-19 vaccine clinic were glued shut.

The incident happened on Sept. 29 during off-hours at a clinic in Langford. The glue made the doors inoperable and entry into the clinic impossible.

The suspect is a man who is 5-foot-8, in his 50’s and has a medium build. He has a moustache and glasses, and was wearing a blue plaid shirt, blue jeans and a black poncho when the incident occurred.

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“While we understand that not everyone share the same beliefs during this pandemic, this act of mischief is a criminal offence and will be treated as such,” said Const. Alex Bérubé of the West Shore RCMP in a news release.

Investigators were able to obtain video surveillance footage and are looking to identify the suspect.

-Mike Raptis

Outbreak declared at Tofino General Hospital

Island Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Tofino General Hospital after evidence of transmission on the inpatient unit.

Four patients have tested positive for COVID-19 related to this outbreak. The outbreak at is limited to the inpatient unit. The emergency department and the rest of the hospital remains open. There has been no impact to other areas of the hospital at this time.

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Upon declaring the outbreak, Island Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning and contact tracing to protect the health of all patients, staff and medical staff. Communication with patients, families and staff is ongoing.

Island Health has implemented comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in long-term care, acute care, assisted living and licensed facilities.

Active cases falling, but B.C. reports 28 deaths over past four days

B.C. reported 28 deaths over the long weekend and 2,090 new cases of COVID-19.

The only bright note in today’s numbers is that the case count got progressively lower over the fours days (dropping from 603 to 385) and the number of active cases fell 786 to 5,183.

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There were 9,734 first doses of vaccine administered during the same period and 18,987 second doses – leaving 82.6 per cent of B.C.’s population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated.

Of the active cases, 357 are being treated in hospital including 153 in intensive care.

There have been two new health-care facility outbreaks at West Shore Laylum and Evergreen Manor (Fraser Health), for a total of 19 active outbreaks.

From Oct. 4-10 people not fully vaccinated accounted for 68.1 per cent of cases.


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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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.

23Sep

Briercrest College down to 55 active COVID-19 cases, will continue with weekly testing | Globalnews.ca

by admin

Briercrest College and Seminary in Caronport, Sask., is now down to 55 active COVID-19 cases among staff and students.

Read more:
Briercrest College reports 62 active COVID-19 cases

On Monday, it reported 62 active cases.

According to an update posted on Briercrest’s website, 43 students and 12 staff members have COVID-19 as of Wednesday.

Don Taylor, dean of the college and provost, said Briercrest will continue with weekly testing provided by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

“We’re going to have our staff and students continuing to test until we can get down to zero,” Taylor told Global News.

Read more:
COVID-19 surge in Saskatchewan straining health-care system

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Students who can’t self-isolate on their own, such as students living in dorms with communal washrooms, have access to private apartments on campus.

“We’ve put a great deal of institutional effort into caring for our students. We have staff (and) volunteers who are delivering meals to the recovery area. We have counselling services that are available free of charge to students. We have health-care staff checking on our students,” Taylor added.

Classes are also being livestreamed to isolating students. Tutors and academic coaches are also helping students.

“Even our student government has been delivering goodie bags. We really are working carefully to make sure students have a successful educational semester as best as we can through this health-care crisis.”

Read more:
Ottawa offers military aid as Alberta battles brutal COVID-19 surge

Taylor believes Briercrest is past the “big wave” of students who contracted COVID-19 and the school is working to bring those numbers down.





© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

9Sep

B.C. opens door for medical exemptions to vaccine card in ‘extremely rare’ cases

by admin

Vancouver –


B.C. has now indicated medical exemptions to the incoming vaccine card requirement may be allowed, but only in “extremely rare” cases.


As of Wednesday evening, more than 700,000 people in B.C. had accessed their vaccine card, which will have to be shown as proof at certain non-essential businesses and activities as of Sept. 13. Proof of full vaccination, including being two weeks past a second shot, will be required as of Oct. 24.


When the measure was first announced last month, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there would not be exemptions for people who are not able to get immunized for medical reasons.


“This is a temporary measure that’s getting us through a risky period where we know people who are unvaccinated are at a greater risk, both of contracting and spreading this virus,” she said at the time. “Those rare people who have a medical reason why they can’t be immunized…they will not be able to attend those events during this period.”


The lack of medical exemptions raised concerns for Disability Alliance BC. Co-executive director Helaine Boyd told CTV Vancouver Wednesday they’ve seen social isolation become exacerbated for people with disabilities throughout the pandemic, and “this is just another example.”


“We fully believe that anyone who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated. However, we do think that there is blatant discrimination being made,” she said. “We have heard from some individuals who have tried to get vaccinated, but cannot, because they have not gotten approval from their doctor or their medical professional.”


Boyd said they’d like to see the province work with them and other groups serving marginalized populations to help develop an exemption policy.


“I think it’s completely possible to find a way to navigate between protecting the overall safety of the population while also upholding and protecting the human rights of those affected by this,” she said.


“It is a small amount of people with disabilities who are affected, which in our mind, means that it wouldn’t affect the whole B.C. population and the B.C. government’s goal of protecting the wider population against COVID-19.”


Boyd added her group’s message is distinct from those who have staged protests against the vaccine card.


“We don’t really want our statement to be perverted by the anti-vax movement,” Boyd said. “There are people who have tried to get vaccinated and they can’t because of medical reasons and they don’t have a choice in the matter…whereas those who have been protesting, they do have a choice. They’re just choosing not to be vaccinated.”


In an email to CTV, the Ministry of Health indicated the province now seems to be opening the door to some exceptions.


“There will be an exemption process in place for extremely rare circumstances, involving a person’s doctor and the Office of the Provincial Health Officer,” the ministry said. “However, these instances will be extremely rare.”


The ministry added Dr. Bonnie Henry has said those who are currently unvaccinated, for any reason, the kinds of indoor settings eligible for the vaccine card are “high risk” right now.


The vaccine card measure will mean people will be required to produce proof of vaccination for activities like dining out at restaurants, going to the movies, attending indoor ticketed concerts and sporting events, or working out at a fitness centre or gym. It will not apply to retail or essential services including groceries and health care. The order will be in place until the end of January, with the possibility for an extension. 

25Aug

COVID-19 update for Aug. 25: British researchers say vaccine protection wanes within six months | B.C. reports 641 new cases

by admin

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 Aug. 25, 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 Aug. 24

• Total number of confirmed cases: 160,630 (5,357 active cases)
• New cases since Aug. 23: 641
• Total deaths: 1,801 (no additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 138 (up five since Monday)
• Intensive care: 78 (down two since Monday)
• Total vaccinations: 3,861,296 received first dose; 3,482,876 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 153,967
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 12

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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: 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 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

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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.

Vaccine protection wanes within six months

Protection against COVID-19 offered by two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines begins to fade within six months, underscoring the need for booster shots, according to researchers in Britain.

After five to six months, the effectiveness of the Pfizer jab at preventing infection in the month after the second dose fell from 88% to 74%, an analysis of data collected in Britain’s ZOE COVID study showed.

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For the AstraZeneca vaccine, effectiveness fell from 77 per cent to 67 per cent after four to five months.

– Reuters

Students cheer while faculty gives failing grade to new B.C. rules for post secondary schools

Post-secondary students must be fully vaccinated if they want to live in campus residences or take part in studies that require them to work in seniors’ care homes, but students will not have to be immunized to attend lectures in classrooms.

The new provincial health orders were announced Tuesday and come into effect on Sept. 7.

However, masks will be required in lecture halls and classrooms under Monday’s mask order by B.C.’s provincial health officer.

“We thought we would be able to release some of the restrictions, however, we know there is a need to take further measures,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said in announcing the new orders, which come as COVID-19 cases have been creeping upwards in B.C.

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However, groups that represent educators in B.C. fear the measures do not go far enough, said Lynne Marks, president of the University of Victoria Faculty Association.

“The concern is because we are in Stage 3 of B.C.’s pandemic plan, where 50 people or 50 per cent capacity is the maximum allowed for indoor gatherings, and that is not going to apply to post-secondary classrooms,” said Marks. “In the biggest universities, you can have 300 to 500 students in a classroom with no physical distancing requirements.”

Marks said more than 2,900 students and faculty in B.C. have signed a petition calling for mandatory immunization or, alternatively, rapid COVID-19 testing before unvaccinated students attend classes at post-secondary institutions. She said she does not understand why Henry has rejected their request.

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– Lisa Cordasco

B.C. reports 641 new cases, no additional deaths

B.C. health officials reported 641 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

There are 138 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospital; more than half, 78, are in intensive care.

It’s the most hospitalizations since June 15 (139).

As of Tuesday, 71.1 per cent of British Columbians, more than 3.48 million people, were fully vaccinated, while 83.3 per cent had received at least one shot of vaccine.

B.C.’s Ministry of Health said between Aug. 9 and 22, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 83.4 per cent of cases and 85.6 per cent of hospitalizations.

There were no new COVID-19 related deaths reported Tuesday. B.C.’s pandemic death toll remains at 1,801.

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Also Tuesday, Fraser Health declared the end of an outbreak at KinVillage in South Delta. That leaves six outbreaks in long-term care (Heritage Village in Fraser Health; Village at Mill Creek, Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre and Brookhaven Care Centre in Interior Health; five in assisted or independent living facilities (Nicola Meadows, Hawthorn Park, David Lloyd, Sun Pointe Village and Hardy View Lodge, all in Interior Health); and one in acute care (Peace Arch Hospital in Fraser Health).

Masks once again required on transit, B.C. Ferries

The resumption of B.C.’s indoor mask mandate means face coverings will once against be required on public transit.

Beginning Wednesday, both TransLink, which operates transit in the Lower Mainland, and B.C. Transit will require customers to mask up while using transit and while boarding or waiting for transit at any indoor or sheltered stations and stops.

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TransLink says there are some exceptions to the policy:

  • Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering;
  • Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance;
  • Children under 12 years of age;
  • Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access;
  • Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency.

B.C. Ferries is also reminding travellers that masks will be required on its vessels and inside it terminals starting Aug. 25.

“Some exemptions will apply to the policy, such as if a customer is inside a vehicle or consuming food or drinks in designated areas for this purpose,” the ferry corporation.

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“In the event that a passenger cannot wear a mask due to medical reasons, B.C. Ferries may require passengers to present documentation from a healthcare professional.”

B.C. Lions backing province’s proof of vaccine policy

The Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions have come out in support of the B.C. government’s proof of vaccination policy.

On Monday, Premier John Horgan announced that beginning Sept. 13 all British Columbians will need a vaccine card showing proof of receiving at least one dose of vaccine to get into restaurants, clubs, ticketed sporting events and organized receptions. Starting on Oct. 24, the public will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated with two doses.

Along with being “very supportive” of the new B.C. Vaccine Card, Lions president Rick LeLacheur says the club also welcomes the return of the indoor mask mandate that was announced Tuesday by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“Many of our season ticket holders have already expressed their support of this,” said LeLacheur.

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The Lions next home game is Sept. 11 against the Ottawa RedBlacks.

Mask mandate back in indoor spaces in B.C., including K-12 schools

B.C. is resuming a mask mandate in indoor settings as COVID-19 cases continue to creep upwards.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the province-wide announcement on Tuesday, alongside education officials.

The new temporary health order, which starts Wednesday, will apply to all indoor spaces including malls, stores, coffee shops, municipal spaces, recreation centres, as well as restaurants, pubs, and public transit, said Henry.

Face masks are also going to be required for B.C. K-12 staff and some students, similar to the mask mandate in place earlier this year.

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“The mask requirement that was in place last spring will continue in place to start this upcoming school year,” said Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside.

That means Grade 4 to 12 students as well as K-12 staff will have to wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas, including classrooms and school buses.

Students from kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks.

— Cheryl Chan


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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19Aug

COVID-19: Nelson mayor calls for more restrictions as cases rise

by admin

B.C. recorded 689 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as well as two deaths.

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As nearby hospital beds fill with COVID-19 patients, the mayor of Nelson wants increased restrictions enacted in his city, including an indoor mask mandate.

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Nelson Mayor John Dooley said the last few weeks have been “stressful” as COVID cases have risen in the community on the shores of Kootenay Lake.

“The numbers aren’t going down,” he said. “We feel something more needs to be done.”

On Thursday, B.C. recorded 689 new COVID cases, including 278 in the Interior Health region, as well as two deaths. The number of active infections in the province climbed to 5,982, with more than half of those in Interior Health. Provincial data shows there have been about 255 COVID cases in Nelson since provincewide restrictions eased, while about 62 per cent of the community’s population 12-and-older has been fully vaccinated.

An independent B.C. COVID modelling group said in a report published Wednesday that it expects hospitalizations to continue to rise and warns of the long-term impact of the Delta variant. The group also forecasts a wave of COVID cases in the fall, linked to a rise in Delta variant cases among children and youth. It warned that if no action is taken to prevent COVID infections during the fall, case counts are modelled to hit about 10,000 to 12,000 per day. The group said if that was to happen, B.C.’s hospitals would be overrun with bed shortages.

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Dooley is urging Nelson residents to get the shot, while city council has sent a letter to the B.C. Ministry of Health and the Interior Health Authority asking officials to enact restrictions similar to those currently in effect in the central Okanagan, including limits on the size of gatherings, capacity requirements in restaurants and an indoor mask mandate.

“People I’ve spoken to are in favour,” he said. “Businesses are on-side.”

Nelson city Coun. Keith Page said the vaccination campaign has led to some division in the community, particularly on social media. Week-upon-week of smokey skies have also put a damper on the summer.

“Compared to last summer, it’s been tough,” he said. “The smoke hasn’t lifted for more than a week in total, and you’ve got COVID on top of it.”

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Page said he worried the “message has been lost” about the need to continue to practise social distancing, handwashing and masking.

Earlier this week, a doctor at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail warned that four-out-of-six of the hospital’s ICU beds are currently being used by COVID patients. Dr. Mike Vance told The Nelson Star that the next month could be a “disaster” as more admissions are expected as new cases could become more serious.

There is also a continuing outbreak at the Nelson Jubilee Manor, a long-term care home with 39 residents, where one resident and three staff have tested positive for COVID. One death has also been linked to the outbreak.

Cases in care homes across B.C. are on the rise, with 25 cases at the Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna, including 16 residents and nine staff, and 27 cases at David Lloyd Jones long-term care, also in Kelowna, where 19 residents and eight staff are sick. Health officials aren’t saying if staff working at the care homes are vaccinated. There is still more than a month to go before all staff and volunteers working in B.C. care homes must be fully vaccinated. The health order, which was announced earlier this month, set a deadline of Oct. 12.

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In a statement, Interior Health said there has been a “steady increase in the vaccination rate” in the central Okanagan since a COVID outbreak was declared there July 28. The health authority continues to hold pop-up and drop-in vaccination clinics across the region.

In addition to the new cases in Interior Health, B.C. recorded 219 new cases in Fraser Health on Thursday, 123 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 42 in Island Health and 27 in Northern Health. One-hundred-and-twenty-one people have been hospitalized with COVID, an increase of 14 from Wednesday. Fifty-six of those patients are being treated in intensive care.

The Ministry of Health didn’t respond to a Postmedia News’s request for a breakdown of how many people are vaccinated and unvaccinated among the active COVID cases and hospitalizations.

— With files from The Canadian Press

gluymes@postmedia.com

twitter.com/glendaluymes

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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.

4Aug

COVID-19: B.C. promotes ‘Walk-in Wednesday’ vaccine clinics as coronavirus cases rise

by admin

B.C. could soon be left with about 20 per cent of the population, or 900,000 people, who haven’t been vaccinated. “All programs are now aimed at them,” said Dr. Brian Conway.

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It was “Walk-in Wednesday” at almost 40 vaccination clinics across B.C. on Wednesday as health authorities work to push the province’s vaccination rate above 80 per cent as COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

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Some clinics added live music to entice people to drop in without an appointment to get their first or second shot.

“We’re just waiting for a few trombones to show up,” said Wilf Froese, a member of Beyond Brass, a Kamloops band that sent several members to play at a clinic at the Tournament Capital Centre on Wednesday morning.

The band has been practising in sections during the pandemic, becoming a “garage band of sorts” to comply with gathering restrictions, said Froese. “We had no hesitation to play here today apart from wondering if we were ready to play in public.”

Interior Health sets up a mobile immunization clinic in the parking lot of the Creston and District Community Complex on June 25 and 26.
Interior Health sets up a mobile immunization clinic in the parking lot of the Creston and District Community Complex on June 25 and 26. Photo by Kelsey Yates/Creston Valley Advance /Black Press

B.C. appears on track to have 80 per cent of the population 12 and older fully immunized with two doses by about Aug. 20, said Dr. Brian Conway, medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre.

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“That’s both better and quicker than anticipated,” he said.

But the doctor said data shows a majority of recent vaccinations, about five out of every six jabs, are second doses, not first. “That number is out of whack with what we need to be seeing in order to vaccinate everybody.”

Assuming people who have had their first dose follow up and get their second, Conway said B.C. could soon be left with about 20 per cent of the population, or about 900,000 people, who haven’t been vaccinated.

“That 20 per cent has chosen after all these months and opportunities not to get vaccinated, so all programs are now aimed at them.”

Through his research and discussions with colleagues, Conway believes that group can be broken into three separate groups, with about half of them, or 10 per cent of the population, being people who have put off vaccination due to the hassle, logistics or lack of understanding.

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“I think these Walk-in Wednesday events are aimed at that 10 per cent,” he said. “We’ll see if they show up.”

Conway warned that one drop-in clinic isn’t going to reach every one of the 450,000 people represented in that group, but a series of events in specifically targeted locations might in time move the needle to about 90 per cent vaccinated.

That would leave another 10 per cent of the population unvaccinated.

Conway said holdouts can be further broken down into people who could be convinced to get the vaccine, but have questions, and those who have bought into false narratives about the vaccine’s development and safety.

Those with questions might be convinced if they could speak to an expert face-to-face and have their questions answered before getting a shot.

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“That can’t be done in five minutes, and it can’t really be done at a Walk-in Wednesday,” he said.

On its website, Doctors of B.C. says that with exception of some smaller communities, family practices will not be asked to administer the vaccines in their clinics.

“It will be much later in the process before clinics or community pharmacies are broadly used in urban areas. For this to happen, we need vaccines that do not require the same special considerations for handling, ideally require only one dose, and the provincial reporting system will need to be fully in place,” said the association.

Conway said the province should reconsider its position on allowing family practices to administer the vaccine, particularly since research has shown the Pfizer vaccine can now be stored at typical fridge temperatures for up to a month.

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It’s a case of “the higher, the better” when it comes to vaccination rates, he said, with variants on the rise and travel from the U.S. poised to resume. Despite B.C.’s best efforts to track and contain outbreaks, including those that may be caused by international travellers bringing variants into the province, vaccination will be “our first line of defence.”

According to the B.C. COVID-19 update for Wednesday, 81.5 per cent (3,777,588) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 67.9 per cent (3,146,669) have received their second dose. B.C. reported 342 new cases of COVID-19, with more than half of them (171 cases), in Interior Health.

Vaccination rates across the province vary from community to community, with some of the lowest rates in the Peace River, Enderby and Fort Nelson local health regions.

gluymes@postmedia.com

twitter.com/glendaluymes

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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.

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