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Active COVID-19 cases in B.C. highest since June 11 – Coast Reporter



The slow but steady trend of higher COVID-19 infections in B.C. has pushed the province’s number of active infections to the highest level since June 11 – more than seven weeks ago.

There are now 1,544 known active COVID-19 infections in B.C. The number of active infections had been plunging in late May, June and July, with 50 consecutive reporting periods recording a drop in active infections. That streak ended on July 6, when there were 602 active infections. As recently as July 23, B.C. had 603 active infections. 

Some good news is that active infections have not yet translated into a spike in hospitalizations, intensive-care-unit (ICU) visits, or deaths. 

The vast majority of those known to be battling COVID-19 infections in B.C. have been told to self-isolate, although 53 are in hospitals, with 19 of those sick enough to be in ICUs. 

Health officials announced August 3 that they know of one new COVID-19-related death in the past four days. That death is the only COVID-19-related fatality in B.C. that they have recorded in the past six days. It brings the province’s death toll from the pandemic to 1,772.

Data for the past four days was released because of the long weekend.

Newly discovered infections for those days include:
• 160 on July 31;
• 196 on August 1;
• 185 on August 2; and
• 201 in the past 24 hours.

Most new infections in the past week have been detected in the Interior Health region – something that prompted health officials to impose a mask mandate for those in indoor public spaces. 

Here is a breakdown of where the 742 new COVID-19 infections in B.C. are, by health region:
• 165 in Fraser Health (22.2%);
• 115 in Vancouver Coastal Health (15.5%);
• 395 in Interior Health (53.2%);
• 24 in Northern Health (3.2%);
• 42 in Island Health (5.7%); and
• one people who normally resides outside B.C. (0.1%).

More than 97.7%, or 147,285, of the 150,631 people known to have contracted COVID-19 in B.C. are considered by the province to have recovered because they have gone 10 days after first feeling symptoms, and are therefore thought to not be infectious.

Despite the steady rise in new cases, B.C. has yet to create a vaccination pass, which would be needed in order to enter a nightclub or a restaurant. 

“We’re not, at this point, going to be requiring people (to wear masks in order to get into bars and restaurants,)” provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said at an August 3 press conference.

She added that she thinks that it is “perfectly valid” for some business owners to require that all of their customers have been vaccinated.

“We’ve talked about not having vaccine passports for things like access to public services, but there are some things that are not essential services where it is important that only immunized people get together, especially if it’s in a situation where we have more of the virus transmitted, and in settings, like indoor crowded settings.”

British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association CEO Ian Tostenson, however, told Glacier Media last week that he does not support a government order for restaurants to ban unvaccinated people. 

Instead, Tostenson said that he would like his organization’s members to be able to accept all guests regardless of vaccination status. He added that his association’s restaurant members should be free to require vaccination certificates for entry into their establishments if they want to do that, but he advises them not to do that, as it can put their staff in a difficult position, and it may prompt altercations. 

Henry also said at the press conference that fast spread of variants of concern has not changed her plan to have schools resume in the province in September. 

Provincial data show 3,773,442 British Columbians with at least one dose of vaccine, and 3,121,311 people being fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine. 

The government estimates that this translates into 81.4% of the eligible population being vaccinated at least once, and 67.3% of the eligible population being vaccinated twice.

The B.C. government’s most recent estimate of the province’s total population is 5,147,712, so that means that about 73.3% of B.C.’s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 58.5% of the province’s total population has had two doses.

Henry touted a vaccine-promotion event taking place tomorrow, August 4, when all COVID-19 vaccination centres will accept the general public for vaccine shots, or for counselling to learn more about the vaccines.

The province continues to have two COVID-19 outbreaks at seniors’ homes: Holyrood Manor in Maple Ridge, and Nelson Jubilee Manor in Nelson.


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Roussin takes aim at HIV stigma – Brandon Sun



Wednesday was World AIDS Day and the province is getting behind the message to end the stigma of the disease.

There were 117 new cases of HIV identified in the province in 2020, slightly fewer than in 2019.

“Even though there are fewer cases, there was also significantly less testing,” Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said Wednesday.

“Around 25 per cent of people with HIV are unaware they have it, and that can contribute to the spread.”

The stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS continues to be a significant public health issue in the province. Roussin said the populations most at risk are also facing problems of accessibility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roussin urged people who may be at risk to get regular testing and speak to their health-care providers regarding prevention, testing and treatment options.

All these services are confidential and free of charge.

Those living with HIV are also encouraged to stay connected to care and treatments.

Roussin said it is considered a chronic infection and there are effective treatments for HIV, with many being able to get the virus level down to undetectable levels and minimizing risk of transmitting it to other people.

» The Brandon Sun

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COVID-19 vaccines: 18% of Ottawa kids 5-11 have 1st doses –



Nearly 14,000 Ottawa kids have gotten their first COVID-19 vaccine shots in their first week of eligibility, according to the local health unit.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reports that 13,887 kids aged five to 11, representing 18 per cent of the total age group in the city, have their initial shots as of Wednesday morning.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said earlier this week that 40 per cent of local kids in this youngest eligible demographic have appointments booked through the provincial vaccination system. This doesn’t account for shots booked at pharmacies or doctors’ offices.

Read more:

No need for new restrictions yet in Ottawa amid Omicron cases, Dr. Etches says

City-wide, 86 per cent of the population aged five and older now have at least one dose.

Meanwhile, OPH reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, surpassing the 32,000-case mark since the start of the pandemic.

The number of active infections held relatively steady at 329 in the latest report.

There are now 11 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ottawa, two of whom are in the intensive care unit.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada'

COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada

COVID-19: Proof of vaccine now needed to fly in Canada

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

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KFL&A region records tenth death from COVID-19 – Kingston News – Kingstonist



Photo by Lucas Mulder.

The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington region has recorded its tenth death from COVID-19. The deceased was a female in her 70s, according to provincial information.

This is the fourth death in KFL&A associated with COVID-19 this month, after a male in his 60s died on Tuesday, Nov. 23, a female in her 70s died a day later, and a female in her 80s died less than a week later.

KFL&A Public Health continue to investigate the method of transmission.

Yesterday, KFL&A Public Health reported a total of 29 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total of active COVID-19 cases to 295, down slightly from a high of 301. According to KFL&A Public Health, as of Monday there were 19 local residents hospitalized with COVID-19, with 11 of those in intensive care and six on ventilators.

Nine others have now died from COVID-19 in the region since the beginning of the pandemic: two males aged 90 or over, a male in his 80s, two females in their 80s, a male in his 70s, a female in her 70s, a male in his 60s, and a female in her 50s.

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