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B.C. reports 1,462 new COVID-19 cases over three days, 11 deaths – Globalnews.ca

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B.C. reported 1,462 new cases of COVID-19 over three days along with 11 deaths.

There were 545 cases from Friday to Saturday while 532 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 385 from Sunday to Monday.

Of the new cases, 407 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 802 were in the Fraser Health region, 72 in Island Health, 79 in Interior Health, and 102 in Northern Health.






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Millions of calls received as phone lines open for B.C. vaccination registration


Millions of calls received as phone lines open for B.C. vaccination registration

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 144 of the new cases involved variants of concern, bringing the total number of variant cases to 394. The majority of those cases are linked to the B.1.1.7. variant first identified in the U.K.

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The number of active cases linked to COVID-19 variants jumped to 87. On Friday, the province reported just 12 active cases involving variants.

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The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 dropped by 15 to 240. Sixty-six of those patients are in critical or intensive care, a number that remains unchanged from Friday.

There are 4,854 active COVID-19 cases in the province while 8,723 people are in self-isolation due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

The 11 deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,391.

The update comes after the opening of British Columbia’s call centre to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments.


Click to play video 'B.C.’s mass COVID-19 immunization plan begins Monday'



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B.C.’s mass COVID-19 immunization plan begins Monday


B.C.’s mass COVID-19 immunization plan begins Monday

Dix said the appointment booking line received 1.7 million calls as of 9:40 a.m. Monday despite the fact that only about 82,000 people — those born in 1931 or earlier and Indigenous people born in 1946 and earlier — are eligible to receive an appointment at this time.

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Many of those same people have already received a vaccination in long-term care.

“This is not the time to call in if you are not calling for someone over the age of 90 or an Indigenous person 65-plus,” Dix said.

“This is not the time to call in.”


Click to play video 'Dr. Bonnie Henry says British Columbians could see an easing of some COVID-19 restrictions'



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Dr. Bonnie Henry says British Columbians could see an easing of some COVID-19 restrictions


Dr. Bonnie Henry says British Columbians could see an easing of some COVID-19 restrictions

Read more:
Upward trend continues as B.C. reports 634 new COVID-19 cases, four deaths

On Friday, B.C. reported 634 new cases of COVID-19 along with four deaths.

— With files from Simon Little and Richard Zussman

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

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Exclusive-Canada’s Ontario to expand use of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine as epidemic rages

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By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian province of Ontario will begin offering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday to people turning 40 or older this year, according to a government source.

The change will broaden access to vaccines as a third wave of infections threatens to overwhelm hospitals in Canada‘s most-populous province, and should make it easier to use doses that in some cases have been accumulating at pharmacies.

The change will be announced on Monday and go into effect across the province on Tuesday, according to the source. The vaccine has already been distributed to pharmacies but currently can only be given to people turning 55 or older this year.

Ontario announced new public health measures on Friday, promising checkpoints at provincial borders, new police powers and closing outdoor amenities, while leaving many workplaces open. The measures were widely criticized by doctors and public health experts, and the province quickly reopened playgrounds and modified the new police powers.

On March 29, Health Canada said it would review reports of serious blood clots and bleeding in a small number of people who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine in other countries, and an independent panel called the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) recommended that it only be given to people 55 and older. All provinces followed that advice.

But NACI’s recommendations are not binding. Last week, Health Canada, the country’s drug regulator, said it had reviewed all available evidence and would not restrict the use of the vaccine, because its benefits outweigh its potential risks. Health Canada said at the time that NACI was reviewing its recommendations.

On Sunday, NACI’s chair told Reuters that the panel would make a new recommendation on Tuesday.

Health Canada said regulators in the UK had estimated the risk of clots to be very small, roughly four in a million people who receive the vaccine. It also said the complication was treatable. Two people have developed it in Canada, and both are recovering.

Several other countries have limited the use of the vaccine to older people. Denmark has withdrawn the shot, and Norway said on Thursday it would take more time to decide whether to resume use.

Ontario reported 4,250 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The Ontario Hospital Association said 59 patients were admitted to intensive care on Saturday, bringing the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs to 737.

Health Canada says those who receive the vaccine should seek medical attention immediately if they experience shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent belly pain, neurological symptoms like severe headaches or blurred vision, or skin bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.

 

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Diane Craft and Peter Cooney)

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Trudeau mobilizes federal workers to battle COVID-19 in Toronto and rest of Ontario

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday he would send federal healthcare workers to help Toronto and the province of Ontario battle a third wave of COVID-19 infections that has forced shutdowns of schools and businesses.

“We are mobilizing federal healthcare workers from across government departments to deploy on the front lines in Ontario and specifically the Greater Toronto area where the situation is most critical,” Trudeau said in a video posted on Twitter.

Other provinces, especially on the Atlantic coast, are working “to determine what human resources and equipment they could free up over the coming days,” Trudeau said, adding that the federal government would cover the costs of that help.

The government will also seek to boost rapid testing, especially for essential workers, Trudeau said.

The government of Ontario, Canada‘s most-populous province and industrial powerhouse, has moved schools online and announced more stringent public health measures on Friday, including shutting the provincial borders to non-essential travel.

On Saturday, federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair deployed two mobile health units to set up more hospital beds in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, and the prime minister said he stood ready to send the Red Cross to staff mobile vaccination clinics in Ontario if help is requested.

Canada‘s seven-day average of new infections was 8,669, the chief medical officer said on Sunday, a 26% increase compared with the previous seven days. Ontario reported 4,250 new cases on Sunday.

Canada has been ramping up its vaccination campaign but still has a smaller percentage of its population inoculated than dozens of other countries, including the United States and Britain.

More than 48 million doses are to be delivered by the end of June, which is enough for all of Canada‘s population of some 38 million to receive at least one shot, with a total of 100 million doses expected by the end of September.

 

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Canada has second case of rare blood clots after AstraZeneca vaccin

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(Reuters) – Canada on Saturday reported a second case of rare blood clots with low platelets after immunization with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in a week, while it said it still recommended the use of the shot.

The person who experienced the very rare event has been treated and is recovering, Canada‘s health ministry said in a statement, adding that the person lives in the province of Alberta.

Based on the evidence available, Canada still maintains that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the potential risks, the statement said.

Canada health authorities “will continue to monitor the use of all COVID-19 vaccines closely and examine and assess any new safety concerns,” the statement said.

Canada reported a first blood clotting associated with the vaccine on Tuesday, and a day later, after a review, health authorities said they would not restrict use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

A separate advisory council had earlier recommended Canada stop offering the vaccine to people under 55. That panel is in the process of reviewing its advice.

Canada has been ramping up its vaccination campaign, but still has a smaller percentage of its population inoculated than dozens of other countries, including the United States and Britain.

Amid a spiking third wave of infections, Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, announced new public health restrictions on Friday, including closing the provinces borders to domestic travelers.

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Steve Scherer in Ottawa, writing by Steve Scherer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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