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B.C. reports 832 new COVID cases and five deaths as third wave continues – Saanich News

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B.C. is reporting 832 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths as of Thursday (April 1), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

By health authority, it breaks down to 310 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 388 in Fraser Health, 53 in Island Health, 42 in Interior Health and 39 in Northern Health.

There are 296 people in hospital, of whom 79 are in ICU with the virus and another 11,600 isolating at home. There have been a total of 100,880 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began., of which approximately 7,500 are currently active. B.C.’s death toll from the virus has reached 1,463.

There have been 90 new cases of variants of concern identified in the past two days; it breaks down to 80 cases of the B1.1.7 U.K. variant, nine cases of the B.1.351 South African variant and one of the P1 Brazil variant. Henry said while the usual COVID prevention measures continue to apply, “we just have to do them more carefully.”

That margin of error is that much less, it can spread more easily,” she added. There are currently 192 active cases of variants of concern, 35 of whom are in hospital. Henry said the people hospitalized with a variant of concern are mostly between the age of 19 and 50, with the P1 variant hitting the 19 to 39 age group especially hard.

READ MORE: Younger people with COVID now requiring longer hospital, ICU stays

Henry tried to assuage concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine, which as pulled back from younger frontline workers after concerns over extremely rare blood clots.

“The vaccine is effective and much safer than COVID-19,” she said, adding that anyone more than 20 days out from their shot is no longer at risk. Henry said there is a study ongoing about mixing and matching vaccines, which could provide a solution if the AstraZeneca vaccine remains not advised for people younger than 55. The frontline worker vaccination plan is on hold for now, while researchers decide whether or not it is safe to use it for younger people.

There have been a total of 787, 649 vaccine doses administered with all three approved vaccines, including 87,394 second doses, leading to about 16 per cent of people in B.C. vaccinated with one dose. Vaccine appointments opened up at noon for people born in 1949 or earlier.

READ MORE: B.C. seniors ages 72 and up can now call to book a COVID vaccine

READ MORE: Lower Mainland pharmacists face ‘overwhelming’ demand for AstraZeneca shots

Next week, B.C. is expecting 138,060 doses of Pfizer and 111,900 of Moderna. An additional 43,000 doses of AstraZeneca is expected to arrive Friday, to be used for people aged 55 to 66 in the Lower Mainland.

With the number of people vaccinated creeping up, Henry urged British Columbians to continue to hold the line and not spend time together in groups indoors over the Easter long weekend.

“This is not time time for any of us to be travelling for leisure,” she said. “If you choose to spend time with someone outside your household it must be outdoors.”

B.C. in the past week has implemented a “circuit breaker,” banning indoor dining, indoor adult fitness activities and indoor worship services. Outdoor versions of all the activities are still allowed.

READ MORE: B.C. stops indoor dining, fitness, religious service due to COVID-19 spike


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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Man assaulted nurse over vaccinating his wife: Quebec cops – Toronto Sun

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The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face, police said.

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Sherbrooke police have turned to the public to help track down a man who assaulted a nurse Monday at a local pharmacy.

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Police say a man showed up at the office of a nurse assigned to give vaccinations at a pharmacy on 12th Ave. N.

“He was angry and aggressive,” said police spokesperson Martin Carrier.

The man accused the nurse of having “vaccinated his wife without his consent” before repeatedly punching the woman in the face and leaving, police said, adding that the nurse was taken to hospital to treat “serious” injuries to her face.

The man being sought is 30 to 45 years old, of medium build and has a dark complexion. He has short dark hair, dark eyes and “big eyebrows.”

The man spoke French and was wearing a dark sweater and jeans. He wore earrings and had a hand tattooed with what resembled the image of a cross.

Police are urging anyone with any information on the case to call them at 1-800-771-1800.

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B.C. reports 759 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, 1 death in Island Health – CHEK

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British Columbia health officials on Wednesday reported 759 new COVID-19 cases — including 79 in Island Health — and 10 new deaths since their last update on Sept. 21.

One of the deaths was in Island Health, the province says.

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 180,937 while the death toll climbs to 1,910.

There are currently 5,458 active cases in the province, 324 people in hospital — 157 of whom are in intensive care. The provincial government says there are 636 active cases in the Island Health region.

Of the new cases identified, 79 were in Island Health, 233 were in Interior Health, 214 were in Fraser Health, 129 were in Northern Health, 101 were in Vancouver Coastal Health and three were people who normally reside outside of the country.

A total of 173,215 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 7,739,828 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.

Today’s data was released as a statement to the media.

Island Health

According to the latest update on Island Health’s dashboard shows that there are 563 active cases — 44 in North Island, 180 in Central Island, and 339 in South Island — on Vancouver Island.

Thirty-five people in the region are currently in hospital with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in critical care.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 188 recoveries, 1,358 new tests for COVID-19 performed, and 2,370 doses of vaccine administered in the region. Of those doses, 37 were AstraZeneca, 1,409 were Moderna and 924 doses were Pfizer.

A total of 1,289,871 vaccine doses — 619,306 of those are second doses — have now been administered on Vancouver Island. This includes 33,465 doses of AstraZeneca, 345,767 doses of Moderna and 910,639 doses of Pfizer.

Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 8,020 cases reported, 59 deaths, 355 total hospitalizations, and 7,254 recoveries recorded on Vancouver Island.

Cases and deaths continue to climb this month

With Wednesday’s announcement of 79 new cases and yet another death in Island Health, the region has now recorded 11 deaths and seen a 22 per cent increase in new cases since the beginning of September.

Since Sept. 1, total hospitalizations on the Island have risen 23 per cent while the total number of recoveries has increased by 22 per cent.

When it comes to active cases, the data isn’t as clear due to major discrepancies between the two main reporting agencies, Island Health and the BCCDC.

Island Health’s data shows that active cases in the region have increased by 31 per cent since the beginning of the month, while the BCCDC’s data shows that active cases have only increased by 18 per cent during the same period.

However, Island Health is the only agency to provide daily updates on active cases with a breakdown by region and based on their latest data update, active cases in the South Island are the highest they have ever been.

More concerning, perhaps, is that active cases on the South Island have increased 113 per cent since Sept. 8. Active cases in Central Island have only managed to climb by 10 per cent since Sept. 8 and on the brighter side, active cases in the North Island have decreased by 37 per cent during the same period.

The vaccine card effect on Vancouver Island

Time — and likely one’s perspective — will only tell whether the B.C. vaccine card system proves to be effective here on the Island. But if the provincial government’s goal was strictly to get more shots in people’s arms for the first time, then it appears to be working to a degree.

On Aug. 23, which was the day Premier John Horgan announced the vaccine card system, a total of 640,426 first doses had been administered on Vancouver Island.

That number had climbed to 649,293 — slightly more than 1 per cent — by Sept. 1, less than two weeks before the B.C. vaccine card system was to come into effect.

But by Sept. 22, more than a week after the B.C. vaccine card system was implemented, that figure had increased to 670,565 first doses, a five per cent increase since Aug. 23.

That may not seem like a lot, but that does mean 30,139 people in the region opted to get the first dose of vaccine in less than a month.

However, it is worth pointing out that the total number of vaccine doses — first and second doses combined — administered on Vancouver Island has risen by 3.3 per cent since Sept. 1 and just 1.5 per cent since Sept. 13, the day the B.C. vaccine card coming into force.

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New Zealand’s Ardern says lockdowns can end with high vaccine uptake

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday the country should aim for a 90%-plus rate of inoculation, and could drop strict coronavirus lockdown measures once enough people were vaccinated.

New Zealand eliminated COVID-19 last year and remained largely virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in August led to a nationwide lockdown.

With its biggest city Auckland still in lockdown and new cases being reported every day, Ardern said vaccinations will replace lockdowns as the main tool against the virus, allowing authorities to isolate only those who are infected.

“If that rate (of vaccinations) is high enough then we will be able to move away from lockdowns as a tool,” she said.

The highest possible vaccine rates will give the most freedoms, Ardern said, adding that the country should be aiming for a 90% plus rate of vaccination.

After a sluggish start to its vaccination campaign, some 40% of adult New Zealanders are fully vaccinated and about 75% have had at least one dose.

Authorities reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1,123.

The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield warned earlier this week that New Zealand may not get to zero COVID cases again.

 

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Richard Pullin)

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