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B.C. now has more than double Ontario's active cases per capita – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
At the end of a difficult week that saw several records shattered for COVID-19 infections and deaths in B.C., the province now has more than twice as many active cases per capita as Ontario.

The federal government makes daily, rolling average, and active case counts available in an infographic, and the contrast is stark: while the prairie provinces and Nunavut struggle with soaring infections per capita, B.C. is slowly catching up and in far worse shape than the two most populous provinces in Canada.

As of Friday, B.C. has 189 active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 135 in Quebec and just 88 in Ontario. Alberta (321), Saskatchewan (268), Nunavut (387), and Manitoba (646) saw the highest active per capita infections.

CTV News asked provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry whether she has considered adopting some of Ontario’s strategies, since it’s faring better in the second wave, such as a colour-coded notification system making it clear and easy for people to know what restrictions are in effect.

“We all have our own pandemic, and as we know the issues that we’re dealing with are focussed in some areas and are different in different areas of the province, so our approach has always been to look at what is happening here and tailor our approach,” insisted Henry. “Many of our measures are ones we put in measures some time ago that Ontario has included in some of their colour zones now. It’s not like we can compare what we’re doing. we’re doing the things we need to do to manage what we’re dealing with here in B.C.”

The provincial health officer has faced intense criticism and even outright anger from various industries and sectors for implementing new rules and restrictions that aren’t clear or communicated directly to stakeholders, with murky rules between similar businesses that are clarified days later. Experts have warned that kind of confusion can undermine public health efforts.

CTV News pointed out the daily infections keep growing despite new restrictions implemented more than a week ago, and while Henry acknowledged she’s considering new measures, she also defended the current set of restrictions, including a “social lockdown,” and pointed out it takes time to see results.

“We still are in a place where we’re not surprised to see cases going up, obviously we want to see that corner bend,” she said. “I’m talking daily with my colleagues about what’s going on, what the situation is, what are the things we need to think about in terms of addressing them and what measures can we look at modifying or changing, so those are conversations we can continue to have and we will have a better idea next week.”

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WestJet halts Boeing 737 Max jet before takeoff after warning light in cockpit – CBC.ca

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WestJet temporarily grounded a Boeing 737 Max jet that was supposed to fly from Calgary to Toronto on Friday after a warning light came on in the cockpit prior to takeoff.

Flight 658 was boarded and preparing to take off when a warning light came on.

“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset,” WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart told CBC News.

“This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board [so] in the interest of our guests’ time, we cancelled Flight 658 and its return 665 (Toronto/Calgary), and we rebooked them on the next available flight to ensure a timely arrival in Toronto.”

The airline says passengers were boarded onto a 787 jet and flew as planned within the hour. 

Jet in question cleared to fly again

The jet in question has already been cleared and is on track for its next flight on Sunday.

The Calgary-based airline’s fleet of 13 Max jets were grounded for almost two years after more than 300 people died in two high profile crashes of the jets, operated by Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia’s Lion Air in 2018 and 2019.

WestJet grounded its fleet of Max jets like most airlines around the world did until earlier this month, when flight authorities cleared the jets for takeoff again.

The flight would have been the jet in question’s first flight since being approved for use again, and only the third Max flight at WestJet overall since reintroduction this week.

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COVID-19: Nine New Cases In Southern Health, Zero In Steinbach – Steinbachonline.com – SteinbachOnline.com

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  1. COVID-19: Nine New Cases In Southern Health, Zero In Steinbach – Steinbachonline.com  SteinbachOnline.com
  2. Two more COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba, 173 new cases reported on Friday  CTV News
  3. Coronavirus: Manitoba reports further vaccine supply disruptions, 2 additional deaths  Global News
  4. ‘No zero-risk situation,’ Manitoba official warns ahead of loosened visitor restrictions starting Saturday  CBC.ca
  5. Make sure COVID-19 isn’t on your guest list when visitor restrictions ease, epidemiologist warns  CBC.ca
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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173 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths in Manitoba on Friday – CBC.ca

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There are 173 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba on Friday and two more people have died from the illness, the province says in a news release.

More than one-third of the new cases — 64 — are in the Northern Health Region, which has been hit hard by outbreaks in recent weeks.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate is up slightly to 9.3 per cent, the release says, while Winnipeg’s is down to 6.2 per cent.

The deaths are two people in their 80s, the release says; a woman linked to Niverville’s Heritage Life Personal Care Home and a man connected to Winnipeg’s Southeast Personal Care Home.

There are also 56 new cases in the Winnipeg health region, the release says, while the remaining new infections are split between the Interlake-Eastern health region (33), the Prairie Mountain Health region (11) and the Southern Health region (nine).

Those deaths bring Manitoba’s total to 795.

People working in all Manitoba schools will have access to a rapid testing site in Winnipeg starting Monday. The site at 1066 Nairn Ave. opened on Jan. 18 to staff working in five divisions, but is now open to all school staff, the release says.

That includes anyone who works directly with students, including teachers, educational support staff, bus drivers, custodians and child-care staff in school-based facilities, the province said when the first site opened.

People going to that site need to either have symptoms of COVID-19, be identified as a close contact of a school exposure or live with someone who has symptoms, the release says. Appointments need to be made ahead of time by phoning the province’s general appointment line, which is listed on the province’s website.

Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Manitoba are now up slightly to 274, from 268 on Thursday. Thirty-nine of those people are in intensive care, the release says, five more than on Thursday.

An outbreak has been declared at the Pembina Manitou Health Centre and Personal Care Home, the release says. 

Previously announced outbreaks are now over at Morden’s Tabor Home, Selkirk’s Tudor House Personal Care Home and Winnipeg’s Deer Lodge Centre Lodge 4 East, West Park Manor Personal Care Home, St. Amant Health and Transition Services and the Carpathia Children’s Centre.

The latest update comes hours before Manitoba’s latest set of pandemic rules come into effect one minute after the stroke of midnight on Saturday. The latest public health orders will allow most Manitobans to have two designated people over as visitors and permit stores to sell non-essential items again.

Those rules will apply everywhere but northern Manitoba, which will remain under the current heavy restrictions because of a spike in cases in recent days and significant COVID-19 outbreaks in several communities.

The military was deployed to Garden Hill First Nation earlier this week to help the community get a handle on skyrocketing cases.

Since Jan. 11, there have been 818 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Northern Health Region. The massive region is Manitoba’s most sparsely populated, with a 2019 population just shy of 77,000.

As of Friday, that part of the province has a COVID-19 infection rate of 4,225.50 cases per 100,000 people, Manitoba’s online dashboard says — about four cases for every 100 people. 

That’s by far Manitoba’s highest infection rate, and more than double the province’s second-highest of 2,087.63 in Winnipeg — or about two in every 100 people.

Places like restaurants and gyms still must stay closed to in-person services.

The rules that take effect Saturday will stay in place for three weeks before being evaluated again.

The changes come more than two months after Manitoba brought in its tightest pandemic restrictions yet, banning most household visitors and barring stores from selling non-essential goods.

Two cases were removed from Manitoba’s total on Friday because of a data correction, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 28,260, the province’s news release says.

To date, 24,204 people in Manitoba have recovered from COVID-19, while 3,261 cases are still considered active, though health officials have said that number is inflated by a data entry backlog.

There were 2,070 COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba on Thursday, bringing Manitoba’s total number of swabs completed to 461,250 since February.

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