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Active COVID-19 infections, and hospitalizations continue to fall across B.C. – Coast Reporter

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The trend of fewer British Columbians in hospital with COVID-19, and fewer residents battling active infections continued on February 8, as the government released new data.

There are now 234 people in B.C. hospitals battling the virus that spawned a global pandemic. That is 19 fewer than the last update, on February 5, and the lowest total since November 20, when there were 227 people in B.C. hospitals with the virus. Of those now in hospital, 69 individuals are in intensive care units (ICU).

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Health Minister Adrian Dix told media that when new hospital beds that the province has added during the pandemic are taken into consideration, B.C.’s hospital occupancy rate is 70.4%. When new ICU beds are taken into consideration, the province’s ICUs are at 52% occupancy. 

The number of people known to be carrying the virus in B.C. has also been on the decline. There are now 3,976 people who have been infected and have not yet tested negative multiple times, which is the process for considering people as having recovered. That is the lowest total since November 6, when there were 3,741 people with active infections. Given that B.C. had a record 10,039 people with active infections on December 14, that metric has fallen considerably. 

Unfortunately, B.C. recorded 13 additional deaths that health officials attribute to the virus. That raises the province’s death toll from COVID-19 to 1,259.

New cases, however, continue to pile up. In the three days since the last data update, B.C. has recorded 1,236 new cases. That includes 428 cases on February 6, 465 cases on February 7, and 343 cases in the past 24 hours, according to provincial health officer Bonnie Henry. 

The new cases push the province’s total number of infections above 70,000, to 70,952. Henry noted that the province has so far had 40 cases of COVID-19 variants: 25 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K., and 15 cases of the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa. There are so far no cases of the Brazilian variant E484K, which was first discovered in Canada during the weekend, with one case in Ontario.

“We have a whole lot of genetic mutations,” Henry said. “We have not found any [cases] of the variant associated with Brazil here in B.C., yet, but we are definitely looking for it.”

Of those infected with COVID-19 in B.C., 65,605 people, or more than 92.4%, have recovered. That percentage of people who have recovered from infections in the province has been rising.

Here is the breakdown of where the 1,236 new cases, detected in the past three days, are located:
• 266 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (21.5%);
• 601 people in Fraser Health (48.6%);
• 86 in Island Health (7%);
• 152 in Interior Health (12.3%); and
• 131 in Northern Health (10.6%).

Vaccinations have been helping reduce infections. So far, 154,496 doses of vaccine have been administered to 142,385 people. So far, 12,111 people have received second doses of the vaccines. 

New COVID-19 outbreaks have been detected at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in Abbotsford, and at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital in Dawson Creek.
Two hospital outbreaks have now been declared over. They were at Mount St. Joseph’s Hospital in Vancouver, and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in Nanaimo.

The nine hospitals in B.C. with active outbreaks now include:
• Abbotsford Regional Hospital in Abbotsford;
• Burnaby General Hospital in Burnaby;
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Dawson Creek and District Hospital in Dawson Creek;
• Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster;
• Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops;
• St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

Outbreaks at two seniors’ homes have also been deemed to be over: at Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock, and at Hilltop House in Squamish.

That means that there are now COVID-19 outbreaks at 22 seniors’ care homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement residences across the province. 

The two active outbreaks at seniors’ living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at Minoru Residence in Richmond and Holy Family long-term care centre in Vancouver.

There are 12 active outbreaks at seniors’ living facilities in Fraser Health. They are at:
• Bradley Centre in Chilliwack;
• Concord By the Sea in White Rock;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Eagle Ridge Manor in Port Moody;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• Mountain View Manor in Ladner;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;
• St. Michael’s Centre Extended Care in Burnaby; and
• Suncreek Village in Surrey.

The two active outbreaks at a seniors’ living facilities in Northern Health are at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George, and Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert.

The six active outbreaks at seniors’ living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops;
• Creekside Landing in Vernon;
• Heritage Square in Vernon;
• Noric House in Vernon;
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver; and
• Westsyde Care Residences in Kamloops.

There are no outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in Island Health. 

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom
 

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EU to extend vaccine export control measures to end of June, sources say – Global News

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The European Union is planning to extend its export authorization scheme for COVID-19 vaccines to the end of June, two EU sources told Reuters on Thursday, in a move that could reignite tensions with countries who rely on shots made in the EU.

The mechanism was set up at the end of January as a reaction to vaccine makers’ announcements of delays in the deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to the EU.

Read more:
EU to propose ‘digital green pass’ as proof a person has been vaccinated

It is due to expire at the end of March, but the European Commission wants to extend it through June, the two officials said.

“The Commission will propose its extension into June. And that was greeted by the member states with approval, not necessarily enthusiasm, but there is a feeling that we still need that mechanism,” one senior EU diplomat said.

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The second official added that at a meeting with EU diplomats on Wednesday, many countries supported the measure, including heavyweights Germany and France.

The EU Commission was not immediately available for comment.






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Coronavirus: Canada received ‘strong assurances’ from EU leadership on vaccine deliveries, Trudeau says


Coronavirus: Canada received ‘strong assurances’ from EU leadership on vaccine deliveries, Trudeau says – Feb 2, 2021

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has also called for sanctions on companies that do not respect their contractual obligations with the EU.

When the EU’s export control mechanism was introduced in late January it triggered an outcry from importing countries who feared their vaccine supplies might have been hampered.

Under the scheme, companies must get authorization before exporting COVID-19 shots and may have export requests denied if they do not respect their supply commitments with the EU.

However, the EU has authorized all requests for export since the scheme’s debut on Jan. 30 to Feb. 26, which amounted to 150 requests for millions of shots to 29 countries, including Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Canada, an EU Commission spokeswoman said.

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Read more:
AstraZeneca backtracks, says it will meet EU supply for Q2 after reporting shortfall

She added, however, that at least one request was withdrawn by an exporting company. She declined to elaborate.

Export requests mostly concern the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which is manufactured in Belgium. AstraZeneca and Moderna shots have also been exported from the EU.

Since Jan. 30 more than eight million vaccines were shipped from the EU to Britain, a third EU source said.


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Coronavirus: Trudeau questioned on EU export controls over vaccine production


Coronavirus: Trudeau questioned on EU export controls over vaccine production – Feb 2, 2021

Britain has so far prevented the export of AstraZeneca vaccines to the EU, using a U.K.-first clause in its supply contract with the Anglo-Swedish firm, EU officials have said.

The United States also has regulations that effectively ban vaccine exports, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference last week.

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A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Thursday, March 4, 2021 – Yahoo News Canada

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 77,572 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,091,700 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 5,519.103 per 100,000.

There were 129,330 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,611,680 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 80.09 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland is reporting 4,472 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 24,757 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.279 per 1,000. There were 1,800 new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 35,620 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 966 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,596 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 79.405 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 85.6 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 6,054 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 35,291 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 36.163 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 56.94 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 17,382 new vaccinations administered for a total of 472,710 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.245 per 1,000. There were 100,620 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 638,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 74.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 27,398 new vaccinations administered for a total of 754,419 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 51.359 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.52 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 1,966 new vaccinations administered for a total of 80,171 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 58.221 per 1,000. There were 8,190 new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 116,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 8.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.73 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 1,361 new vaccinations administered for a total of 81,597 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 69.20 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 109.4 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 10,229 new vaccinations administered for a total of 255,283 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 57.992 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 92.84 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 6,627 new vaccinations administered for a total of 289,809 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 56.476 per 1,000. There were 18,720 new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 382,740 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 75.72 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 990 new vaccinations administered for a total of 18,158 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 435.12 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 96.07 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 103.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 5,327 new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,393 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 345.84 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 56.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

*Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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B.C. reports 438 new COVID cases, 2 deaths; Dr. Henry defends vaccine plan – Pentiction Western News

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B.C. is reporting 438 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths as of Tuesday (March 2), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

By health authority, it breaks down to 137 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 249 in Fraser Health, 19 in Island Health, 16 in Interior Health and 17 in Northern Health. There are now a total of 4,679 active cases and 8,445 people in isolation.

There are 243 people in hospital, of whom 62 are in ICU with the virus. There have been a total of 81,367 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began, of which 72,255 have recovered. B.C.’s death toll from the virus has reached 1,365.

Henry on Tuesday defended delaying the second dose of COVID vaccines for up to four months. Health officials announced Monday that choosing to delay the booster shot would allow all B.C. adults to receive their first dose by mid-July.

“If you give it too soon, your body’s immune system doesn’t recognize it as something news,” she said. “If you extend it a period of time as long as six months… you can get a more durable and long-lasting protection.”

Henry said that last week’s approval of AstraZeneca allows B.C. to be “more agile” in targeting areas of outbreaks and transmission. However, she noted that people will by and large not have a choice in which vaccine they get, but that the AstraZeneca could be offered to some front line and essential workers earlier than they may get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“The vaccine you are offered is the best vaccine,” she said. “I would not suggest people wait.”

However, upcoming mass vaccinations of seniors are expected to continue using the Pfizer and Moderna.

B.C. also extended its state of emergency for the COVID pandemic to March 16, marking nearly one full year.

READ MORE: Most B.C. adults could get their first COVID vaccine shot by July: health officials


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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