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All B.C. health-care workers must be vaccinated against COVID by Oct. 26: officials – Global News

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All health-care workers in B.C. must be immunized against COVID-19 to work in a health-care facility in any part of the province, officials announced Monday.

This new measure, announced by the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, will come into effect on Oct. 26, and will apply to anyone working in acute and community care, along with people who work in home care.


Click to play video: 'B.C. announces expansion of vaccine mandate for health care workers'



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B.C. announces expansion of vaccine mandate for health care workers


B.C. announces expansion of vaccine mandate for health care workers

It will be a requirement for all workers, physicians, contractors and volunteers, Henry added.

“It will be a condition of employment,” she said.

“The ultimate end for those who choose not to get vaccinated who work in healthcare will be leave without pay.”

Henry added that there will be considerations for people who cannot medically receive the COVID vaccines and those cases will be looked at as they arise. She said it may mean people are reassigned to another position or it may mean more testing needs to take place.

Previously, only those working in long-term care and assisted living facilities need to be fully vaccinated against COVID.

Read more:
Third COVID shot needed for severely immunocompromised people, B.C. officials say


Click to play video: 'Group against COVID-19 vaccine card gathers at B.C. Supreme Court'



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Group against COVID-19 vaccine card gathers at B.C. Supreme Court


Group against COVID-19 vaccine card gathers at B.C. Supreme Court

There are currently 139 people in ICU with COVID in B.C. Of them, 121 are unvaccinated, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday.

In addition, he said there are 38 people under 50 in the ICU with COVID in B.C. and 37 of those are unvaccinated.

From Sept. 5 to 11, Dix said 289 surgeries had to be postponed due to the pressure on the healthcare system of caring for COVID patients.

Of those surgeries, 176 were in Interior Health, 50 in Fraser Health and 63 in Vancouver Coastal Health.


Click to play video: 'B.C. family with two loved ones in COVID-19 ICU shares vaccination message'



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B.C. family with two loved ones in COVID-19 ICU shares vaccination message


B.C. family with two loved ones in COVID-19 ICU shares vaccination message

Read more:
Anti-vaccine card protesters confront sheriffs outside B.C. Supreme Court

The B.C. Nurses’ Union said in a statement they have ” very significant concerns regarding today’s announcement.

“While BCNU strongly encourages nurses, other health care workers, and all members of the public to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and other communicable diseases as a preventive personal and public health measure in accordance with scientific evidence, we cannot support any order which will serve to remove even a single nurse or other health care worker from the healthcare system at a time of severe crisis,” the union said in a statement.

They said all other options need to be considered including possibly relocating someone to another health care setting where the workers’ safety can be managed through protections such as rapid testing and PPE.

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

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Coronavirus cases in Quebec rise by 821 with three new deaths and two more hospitalizations – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
Quebec reported Saturday that 821 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the province, bringing the overall number of infections to 402,283.

Of the new infections, 609 people were unvaccinated when they received their positive result, 49 received one dose of vaccine more than two weeks prior, and 163 were double-vaxxed more than a week before the test. 

Hospitalizations rose by two bringing the total number of people receiving care in the province’s hospitals to 264. The ministry reports that 36 people checked in for care, and 34 were discharged. Of the 36, 28 were unvaccinated, two received one vaccine dose more than 14 days prior and six got both jabs more than a week before entering the hospital. 

There are 89 people in intensive care wards, which is six fewer than on Friday.

Three more people have died due to COVID-19, bringing that total to 11,321 since March 2020.

There are 508 active outbreaks in the province.

Quebec’s vaccination rate remains at 88 per cent for one dose of the eligible population and 82 per cent for both doses. 

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Spike in COVID-19 cases is pushing New Brunswick's health-care system to the limit – CTV News Atlantic

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MONCTON, N.B. —
New Brunswick’s jump in COVID-19 cases has overloaded the health-care system this week.

The Horizon Health Network is now looking to hire more staff across the province to help with the growing demand for testing and vaccinations.

The health network has seen an increased demand in testing as COVID-19 cases have soared over the last month.

“Two weeks ago, if you wanted a test, you could walk in or call and get it at almost anytime you wanted,” said Dr. Jeff Steeves with New Brunswick’s Medical Society.

But now, assessment centres are seeing long line ups and delays in testing.

Steeves wants people to get the jab and practice caution during this time to prevent overloading the system even more.

“Remember, we were running short even before COVID, so we’re trying to maintain that,” Steeves said. “Therefore, we can’t divert the staff like we did before, hence the call for new staff.”

Horizon Health’s vice-president said in a statement Friday that they are currently looking to recruit staff at vaccination clinics, assessment centres and school clinics in Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton.

“Given the recent rise in COVID activity in New Brunswick, and the increased demand for these services, we are hoping to replenish our pool of available clinicians and administrative support staff as we ramp up activity at these locations,” said Jean Daigle.

Since the province announced proof of vaccination requirements this week, public health has reported a significant jump in vaccination appointments.

On Wednesday, 1,700 appointments were booked, while yesterday there were 1,929.

Health officials say prior to Wednesday’s number, the recent average for vaccinations was 600 bookings per day. On Thursday, 600 additional vaccines had to be delivered to a clinic in Moncton.

“Things have picked up dramatically,” said Fredericton pharmacist Alistair Bursary, who says they’ve been busy taking calls from people looking to get their first or second dose.

“So, whereas we were doing perhaps 10 patients a day on average now we are probably going to hit 40-50 just at our pharmacy alone,” Bursary said.

While the demand for services continue to climb, those working on the frontlines hope to get the help they need sooner rather than later.

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Quebec reports 821 COVID-19 cases, three deaths – Winnipeg Free Press

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People line up at a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL – Quebec reported 821 new COVID-19 cases and three further deaths in its latest data on Saturday, as authorities expanded plans to use rapid tests in elementary schools to more regions of the province.

Health officials said hospitalizations increased by two to 264, while the number of patients in intensive care dropped by six to 89.

The province said about 80 per cent of new infections involve people who were not adequately vaccinated.

Quebec administered 19,662 vaccine doses on Friday and officials said 88 per cent of Quebecers aged 12 and older have received a first dose while 82 per cent have gotten both shots.

Health Minister Christian Dubé said in a tweet more than 1,000 of those doses went to health-care workers, with the province remaining firm on a plan to have all sector employees adequately vaccinated Oct. 15 or face reassignment or suspension without pay.

“It’s never too late to get the vaccine, it’s the best way to protect yourself and others,” Dubé wrote on Saturday.

The province conducted more than 32,000 tests on Friday and the positivity rate is 2.4 per cent.

Late Friday, Quebec’s Health Department said rapid testing in elementary schools will now extend to several administrative regions of the province where masking in classrooms is already mandatory.

In a statement, officials said the deployment will take a few weeks and include nearly 1,600 schools.

The provincial government came under criticism from opposition parties and school administrators on the rollout of the testing program.

The province appointed Daniel Paré, head of the vaccination campaign, to co-ordinate the deployment.

The Health Department said schools will have the tests and PPE needed to use the tests, reserved for students who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the day and training and protocols are being set up.

“They are a complementary tool to quickly detect cases and further protect students and school staff and ensure that young people continue to receive their education at school,” the department said.

The tests, which provide a result in 15 minutes, have been used in four neighbourhoods in Montreal and Laval since Monday.

Schools are expected to begin using the tests widely by the end of the month, when training of staff to use the tests is complete.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2021.

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