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B.C. again sets record for number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations – Squamish Chief

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B.C. once again, on November 27, set a record for the number of new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period: 911.

The number had once been initially been reported to be higher – 941 on November 24 – but that figure was later revised to be only 706 because there had been a data error. The previous one-day record, after the data revisions, was 887 yesterday.

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With 14,336 people tested in the past 24 hours, the positive test rate was 6.35%.

Henry said that in future there will be more clarity over which tests are conducted by those whose tests are billed to the province’s Medical Services Plan (MSP), such as regular British Columbians who may have had some symptoms, and those whose tests are not billed to the MSP program. That latter group includes those in penitenturies, those who are tested for travel and those who are tested for work purposes. 

Including the 911 new infections, there have been 30,884 known COVID-19 cases since the first case was identified in the province on January 28.

There are also a record number of people in hospital: 301, or seven more than yesterday. Of those, 69 people – five more than yesterday – are in intensive care units.

Another 11 people in B.C. have died from COVID-19 infections, bringing the province’s death toll from the virus to 395. Eight of those people were in the Fraser Health region while three of them were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

“The vast majority of these people were people in their 70s and 80s – our seniors, our elders, grandparents, family members.”Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said. “I know there are 11 additional families out there who are grieving today.”

There are a record 8,472 people actively fighting infections in B.C., and 10,430 people who health officials are monitoring for symptoms because they have had known exposure to identified cases. Of those infected, 21,304 have recovered.

The breakdown of where the new infections are located is as follows:
• 153 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 649 in Fraser Health;
• 27 in Island Health;
• 47 in Interior Health; and
• 35 in Northern Health.

Henry said that she is confident that Canada has contracts in place to ensure delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines, when available and proven to be safe. 

“The importance of safety of these vaccine is is just paramount,” Henry said. “I know we have a very robust system, here in Canada, for ensuring that safety, and every lot has to be approved. So there are delays that can happen at many different levels, and we see this every year with our immunization programs.”

Henry said on November 25 that she hoped that there could be a roll-out of vaccines in B.C. in January.

There are a total of 59 outbreaks at healthcare facilities or seniors’ homes, which combine to involve 1,162 people: 719 residents and 434 staff.

New outbreaks at three seniors’ care homes have been identified, at:
• German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver;
• Villa Cathay Care Home in Vancouver; and
• Morgan Place Care Society in Surrey. 

The five ongoing active outbreaks at acute-care facilities, or hospitals, are at:
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Langley Memorial Hospital in Langley;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge; and
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey.

There are 15 active outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, and they include:
• Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion, in Vancouver;
• Revera Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
• Columbus Residence in Vancouver;
• German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver;
• Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Louis Brier Home & Hospital in Vancouver;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Ascot Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Three Links Care Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Villa Cathay Care Home in Vancouver;
• Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver; and
• Youville Residence in Vancouver.

The 33 outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the ​Fraser Health region include:
• Agassiz Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Agecare Harmony Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Agecare Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Al Hogg Pavilion in White Rock;
• Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Amica White Rock in White Rock
• Belvedere Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• Carelife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Chartwell Langley Gardens in Langley;
• Cottage-Worthington Pavilion in Abbotsford;
• Fellburn Care Centre long-term care facility in Burnaby;
• Finnish Manor in Burnaby;
• Fort Langley Seniors Community in Fort Langley;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Center 2 long-term care facility in Delta;
• Harrison Pointe retirement home in Langley;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community long-term care in Port Coquitlam;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community assisted living in Port Coquitlam;
• Hollyrood Manor long-term care home in Maple Ridge;
• Jackman Manor in Langley Township;
• Kiwanis Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Laurel Place long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Menno Home in Abbotsford;
• Morgan Place Care Society in Surrey;
• Northcrest Care Centre in Delta;
• PICS Assisted Living in Surrey;
• Queen’s Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Sunset Manor in Chilliwack;
• Tabor Home in Abbotsford;
• The Residence at Clayton Heights in Surrey;
• The Residence in Mission;
• Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack; and
• White Rock Senior Village in White Rock.

There are two outbreaks at seniors’ homes in Northern Health: North Peace Seniors Housing Society buildings in Fort St. John, and Rotary Manor Dawson Creek in Dawson Creek.

Two outbreaks are at seniors’ living facilities in the Island Health region: Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni, and Discovery Care Centre in Campbell River.

The Interior Health region has two seniors’ facility outbreaks, at Orchard Manor in Kelowna and Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom 

 

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Coronavirus Update: British Columbia announces plans for mass vaccination – The Globe and Mail

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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. British Columbia announces plans for mass vaccination
  2. Another six residents at a long-term care facility in Barrie have died after being infected with an unidentified COVID-19 variant
  3. COVID-19 variant spreading across South Africa can evade immunity, research suggests

In the last 7 days, 41,701 cases were reported, down 19% from the previous 7 days. There were 1,099 deaths announced, up 8% over the same period. At least 4,260 people are being treated in hospitals and 652,829 others are considered recovered.

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About 84% of the 928,500 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 2.0 doses for every 100 people in Canada.

Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.


Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and charts Lockdown rules and reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources


Photo of the day

Police officers wearing personal protective equipment stand guard on a street after locking down part of the Jordan district on January 23, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. The Hong Kong government locked down tens of thousand of residents to contain a worsening outbreak of the coronavirus.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images


Coronavirus in Canada

  • Experts in Ontario are pointing to workplace transmission as a major source of COVID-19 infection, and say better testing, paid sick leave, and stronger enforcement is needed to slow the spread in the province. Meanwhile, another six residents of the long-term care home Roberta Place in Barrie have died after being infected with an unidentified variant of COVID-19. And, a Whitby couple have been charged with misleading health officials after contracting the U.K. variant of COVID-19.
  • British Columbia announced plans for a mass vaccination campaign starting in April, with an aim to immunize 4.3 million residents aged 18 and over by the end of September. Meanwhile, school districts in the province spent just $5-million of the $35-million federal pandemic fund to upgrade ventilation at schools. Instead, school districts spent almost triple that ($14.8-million) on hiring more cleaning staff and buying more supplies to enhance the cleaning at schools.
  • Yesterday, Alberta said that thousands of residents in privately funded congregate care facilities haven’t received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are not, as a group, given priority in the government’s inoculation plan. Earlier this week, the province said it had vaccinated residents and staff in facilities subsidized by taxpayers – however, this excludes facilities that may offer care for seniors in similar settings but are funded privately.

In Ottawa, the federal government is looking at options that would make it harder for people to return from foreign trips, including hotel quarantines for returning travellers.

  • However, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the tools already in place must also be fully utilized, including more police enforcement of two-week quarantine rules for arriving travellers.
  • Public Health Agency of Canada figures show 153 flights have arrived from outside Canada over the last two weeks on which at least one passenger later tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Health Minister Patty Hajdu said 50,000 tickets for international travel have been cancelled since the rule requiring a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a plane to Canada was announced.

Also today: In a call with President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wants to collaborate with the United States on ending the pandemic. Trudeau said the two leaders are in alignment on several issues and is “looking to be co-ordinated and aggressive” in increasing measures against COVID-19.


Coronavirus around the world

  • The mutations in the new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa may evade the immunity that is normally provided by previous infection, researchers are discovering. The variant, thought to be about 50 per cent more transmissible, has become the dominant form of coronavirus in the country, fueling a dramatic surge of cases in the last two months.
  • The Prime Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson, said the new U.K. COVID-19 variant “may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” though both vaccines currently used in the country are effective treatments against it. However, the U.K. variant is more transmissible, and is putting the country’s health service under “intense pressure,” the Prime Minister added.
  • Air passengers bound for the United States will need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from coronavirus starting Jan. 26. The new rules are part of a series of sweeping executive orders signed by President Biden yesterday.

Coronavirus and business

Pfizer committed today to supplying up to 40-million COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing countries, as part of COVAX, the World Health Organization-backed effort to get affordable shots to poor and middle-income countries.

Also today: Corporate Canada is still a boys’ club, data analysis shows – and the COVID-19 pandemic could make it more so.

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Information centre

Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

What are we missing? Email us: audience@globeandmail.com. Do you know someone who needs this newsletter? Send them to our Newsletters page.

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IH won't say how many care home residents have been vaccinated – Kelowna News – Castanet.net

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Interior Health continues to keep quiet on its progress vaccinating residents and staff in Interior long-term care homes.

Friday morning, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province is on track to immunize all long-term care home residents and staff “within the next few days.”

But after Interior Health told Castanet last week that it planned to have “all of the priority one population” – which includes long-term care residents – immunized by the end of February, Interior Health could not provide an update Friday.

“The vaccination rollout is continuing. We don’t have the percentages for all areas to share,” an unnamed IH spokesperson said in an email late Friday afternoon, adding they will try and get more details on their progress by Monday.

IH had a similar response back on Jan 13, when a spokesperson said they “do not have reporting numbers quite ready to go for IH.”

On Friday, Dr. Henry, Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Penny Ballem outlined the province’s COVID-19 vaccination plan over the next few months, with long-term care home residents and staff at the top of the priority list.

“We’re focusing particularly on residents and staff in long-term care homes, as we know that is where the highest risk for both sickness and death is in the province right now,” Dr. Henry said.

Last week, Dr. Henry said it can take longer to immunize those in care homes in the Northern and Interior health regions, due to more spaced out geography. But other than an announcement about vaccinations beginning at the first Interior care home in Oliver on Jan. 8, Interior Health has provided no information about their progress.

To date, 41 of the 59 people who’ve died from COVID-19 in the Interior were care home residents.

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COVID-19: Canadian tech companies pledge to give staff time to get vaccinations – CollingwoodToday

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TORONTO — A growing number of Canadian tech businesses are promising to allow their staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on company time.

At least 35 tech companies in the country, including SkipTheDishes, Borrowell, and FreshBooks, have signed a new pledge from the Council of Canadian Innovators vowing to let their staff slip out of work to get the shot. 

They say they are keen on giving workers the time because vaccinations are more important than business as usual.

The signatories will try to tackle misinformation by providing reliable information from public health agencies about vaccine safety and efficacy to employees.

They are promising to share information with staff about where, when and how people can be vaccinated, as soon as the shots are available to the wider population.

Canada has so far administered just over 738,000 doses of the vaccine to health-care workers and long-term care home residents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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