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B.C. moves to next stage of vaccine rollout with online booking – Richmond News

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s provincial health officer says she expects the province to catch up to Ontario in the proportion of COVID-19 cases from the variant first identified in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said about a third of B.C.’s cases are from that variant, while the strain represents about 60 per cent of Ontario’s cases, but she expects B.C. to match that figure in about a month.

“When (the variant) gets that competitive advantage, it can spread more easily. It’s the one that tends to increase more rapidly,” she told a news conference Tuesday.

Henry said the variants are worrying but of the 3,766 total variant cases, only 266 are active, representing about three per cent of the active cases in B.C.

She acknowledged the low number of active cases is partly due to the province’s delay in reporting variants of concern. B.C. only reports these cases once they are confirmed through whole-genome sequencing, a process that Henry said can take several days.

She also said while the variant that first emerged in the U.K. is the most prevalent in B.C., the strain first detected in Brazil has been increasing in recent weeks and a high percentage of that variant has been associated with Whistler, starting in mid-to-late February.

“There was a lot of transmission happening in young people and people who were visitors to Whistler, as well,” she said. “It was likely that visitors from other parts of Canada initially introduced that strain.”

However, she added that the cases involving the strain first seen in Brazil are still a small percentage of the COVID-19 cases in Whistler overall. Those cases peaked around March 22 and public-health teams are stopping the chains of transmission, she said.

The province reported 1,068 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and three additional deaths. There were 328 people in hospital and 96 of them were in critical care. It reported 207 new variant cases.

Of the people in hospital, 42 have the variant first detected in the U.K., 20 the strain that emerged in Brazil, and one has the variant that was first identified in South Africa, Henry said.

She said a lot of the recent increased transmission is being driven by social gatherings where people disregard public health orders. People may be sticking to small groups, but are meeting repeatedly with different small groups, Henry said.

This is notable among young people because they may work at ski hills or restaurants and live with roommates, she said.

“It has been a very hard and long year and it is discouraging to see the surge that we’re experiencing right now,” she said.

“I know people are doing their best and we have to deal with what we have right now. We’d all wish it to be different. … The virus is adapting and is taking advantage wherever it can and it isn’t fair.”

Henry said while B.C. will be in a different position by the end of the summer, not enough people are protected by vaccines right now and public health orders must be followed.

B.C. also launched its online booking system on Tuesday as it shifted into the third phase of its vaccine rollout.

The system requires people to register first to get a confirmation code, then book an appointment for a shot when they are contacted by email, text or phone. 

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1950 or earlier, Indigenous people 18 and older, and those who have certain medical conditions were able to book their appointments through the online portal. 

Those aged 55 to 65 and living in the Lower Mainland also have the option of booking at pharmacies to get an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as part of a parallel program. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix said by mid-afternoon, about 160,000 residents had registered for their vaccine through the new booking system and almost 24,000 appointments were scheduled. 

The province had administered 912,056 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, mostly first doses. Dix said 19.2 per cent of the 4.2 million eligible residents have had their first dose.

He said the past weekend was a “very challenging” after the province set a daily record of 1,077 new cases on Saturday.

“It’s us and the vaccine against COVID-19. That fact has never been clearer.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2020. 

Laura Dhillon Kane, The Canadian Press

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Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study – Hindustan Times

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Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study(Unsplash)

Better mental health support needed for pregnant individuals during Covid-19 pandemic: Study

  • A new study finds that more mental health support is needed for pregnant people during the pandemic after it was found that nearly three-quarters of individuals who were pregnant during this time reported moderate to high levels of distress. 
ANI | , Toronto [canada]
UPDATED ON SEP 16, 2021 11:18 AM IST

A team of researchers suggested that more mental health support is needed for pregnant individuals after a survey found nearly three-quarters of individuals who had been pregnant during the pandemic reported moderate to high levels of distress, and one in five experienced depressive symptoms.

The findings of the study appeared in the journal titled ‘Canadian Family Physician’.

The researchers, led by clinicians at Unity Health Toronto, surveyed nearly 1,500 participants online – 87 per cent of whom were Canadian – who had been pregnant during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 69 per cent of respondents reported moderate to high levels of distress and 20 per cent had depressive symptoms.

“The high levels of distress highlight the importance of considering mental health centrally in support for this population,” said Dr Tali Bogler, study lead author and family physician and chair of family medicine obstetrics at St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto.

“The findings also highlight the overall impact the pandemic has had on families in general and the downstream impact this will have,” added Dr Bogler.

A limitation of the study was that it did not have comparable data on distress levels among pregnant people prior to the pandemic. However, a population-based survey conducted in Japan before the pandemic found 28 to 32 per cent of pregnant people reported distress.

Researchers also sought to learn more about what the common sources of concern were for expectant parents during the pandemic. Participants were provided with a list of 27 concerns and asked to indicate their level of concern for each issue.

The top five concerns during pregnancy included: hospital policies regarding support persons in labour; not being able to introduce their baby to loved ones; getting sick from Covid-19 while pregnant; not being able to rely on family or friends after labour for support; and conflicting medical information on Covid-19 in pregnancy and newborns, especially early in the pandemic.

There were differences in the concerns of first-time and second/third-time parents. First-time parents were more concerned about the cancellation of in-person prenatal classes and hospital tours, whereas second/third-time parents were more concerned about the transmission of Covid-19 from older children in the home.

The authors said that family physicians are well placed to support perinatal mental health and can engage in screening practices and offer appropriate treatment, such as counselling, public health nursing, and psychiatric appointments. They also recommend hospitals better utilize technology to help address parents’ concerns by arranging more virtual check-ins and hospital tours and provide more online resources with evidence-based information on Covid-19 relevant to expectant and new parents.

ALSO READ: Pregnancy cravings out of control? Here’s what you MUST know to contain them

“Clinicians and hospital administrators need to explore innovative ways to increase perinatal support,” said Dr Bogler, who is also one of the leads of the Pandemic Pregnancy Guide, a virtual platform that provides medical information on pregnancy and Covid-19 and helps form a community for expecting parents during the pandemic. 

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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‘No longer safe’: Family flees Manitoba city over COVID-19 attitudes – Flipboard

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Ridin’ Dirty: Guinea Pigs Cruise Around in Style

Two summer-ready guinea pigs took a ride in a remote-controlled car in Montreal, Quebec.The footage was captured by Melissa Trihey, who regularly documents the adventures of her pet guinea pigs, pugs,…

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B.C. reports 66 new COVID-19 cases in Island Health, two deaths – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials have reported 661 new cases and seven deaths from COVID-19 since their last update on Tuesday.

In the Island Health region, 66 new cases were reported, increasing the number of active cases in the health authority to 615, along with two deaths.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 168,459 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,873.

READ MORE: B.C. introducing COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all health-care workers

In addition to the new cases in Island Health, 99 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 237 were in Fraser Health, 196 in Interior Health, and 62 in Northern Health.

There are currently 5,791 active cases in the province and 288 people in hospital — 137 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 168,459 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,643,973 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide. Out of all eligible adults in the province, 79.5 per cent have received two doses of vaccine and 86.7 per cent have received one dose.

The Ministry of Health said that 76.5 per cent of cases recorded Sept. 7-13 were in people who have not been vaccinated. Unvaccinated people have also accounted for 87.3 per cent of hospitalizations, the ministry said.

Island Health

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

Island Health has identified 531 active cases — 61 in North Island, 255 in Central Island and 215 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Twenty-four people are currently in hospital after becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, 15 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,193 doses of vaccine administered on Vancouver Island. Of those doses, 35 were AstraZeneca, 1,370 were Moderna and 788 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,274,685 vaccine doses — 611,677 of those are second doses — have been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,156 doses of AstraZeneca, 336,516 doses of Moderna and 905,013 doses of Pfizer.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,479 cases reported, 58 deaths, 318 total hospitalizations, and 6,752 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Editor’s note: The BCCDC lists the active case count for Vancouver Island at 615, which is 84 more active cases than what Island Health has reported. There are often discrepancies between the figures due to “differences in reporting” timeframes between the two agencies.

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