The number of British Columbians dying from COVID-19-related complications has started to ramp up, with 16 fatalities in the past 24 hours, and 58 deaths in the past four days.
The 16 deaths in a 24-hour period is a record, and it comes on the heels of 42 deaths in a three-day period, which was announced yesterday but not broken down by day. In total 457 people in B.C. have died from the virus.
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said November 30 that the surge in deaths was not directly linked to the record number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) because most of the deaths reported yesterday were seniors in long-term care homes who died in those facilities. It was not clear if that pattern continued today.
Nonetheless, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and in ICU hit a record yesterday as well as today. There are now 336 such patients in hospital – up 20 from yesterday. The number of COVID-19-infected patients in ICU rose by one, compared with yesterday, and is now at 76.
Some good news is that the number of people actively infected with the virus has fallen by 59, to 8,796.
There were 656 new COVID-19 infections identified in B.C. in the past day, including three epi-linked cases, which are presumed and not based on tests. That brings the total number of people infected by the virus in B.C., since the COVID-19 first arrived on January 28, to 33,894.
The breakdown of where the new infections are located is as follows:
• 140 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 408 in Fraser Health;
• 10 in Island Health;
• 83 in Interior Health; and
• 15 in Northern Health.
One seniors’ facility, the Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey, which recently had an outbreak that was deemed to be over, once again is listed as having an outbreak.
Outbreaks at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver and Jackman Manor in the Township of Langley are newly declared to be over.
Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in their afternoon statement that there were no new community outbreaks.
That leaves a total of 61 outbreaks at healthcare facilities or seniors’ homes.
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;
The 56 outbreaks at seniors’ homes are broken down by health region.
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;
• Lakeview Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Ascot Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• St. Judes Anglican Home 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;
• Fleetwood Villa Retirement Residence in Surrey;
• 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;
• Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey;
• 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;
• 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.
Three outbreaks are at seniors’ living facilities in the Island Health region:
• Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni;
• Discovery Care Centre in Campbell River; and
• Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead in Victoria.
The Interior Health region has three seniors’ facility outbreaks, at:
• Orchard Manor in Kelowna;
• Mountainview Village in Kelowna; and
• Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna.
Henry said that it can be hard to tell how the virus gets into seniors’ care facilities – whether the transmission starts with staff or with visitors.
“We’ve restricted visitors in long term care, as you know, because of the devastation,” Henry said yesterday. “We only have to look at this weekend to know what happens when the virus gets in.”
Alta. COVID-19 numbers back to early-Dec. levels, health-care system still under strain: Hinshaw – CTV News Edmonton
Although more than 11,000 Albertans have been fully immunized for COVID-19 and infection and hospitalization rates are falling, officials are warning the province’s health-care system is still stressed.
In total, the province has administered more than 101,000 shots since December, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said Wednesday.
That afternoon, Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 459 new cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, labs conducted some 12,800 tests, leaving Alberta with a positivity rate of 3.6 per cent.
Hospitalizations, too, have dropped – but, Hinshaw said, not enough to significantly reduce the strain on Alberta’s health care system or justify easing restrictions.
Of news that several more businesses were defying public health orders with support of their local community and leadership, Hinshaw said the action could jeopardize Alberta’s recent progress.
“What I would say to those leaders is to think about not just what they see in front of them in their own town but to look at the province, and to recognize that every action that we take as individuals has repercussions and connections to our own communities and to the communities around us. And unfortunately, what we saw in the fall is that when we did take early targeted steps to try to minimize risk but not have businesses close, we continued to see our cases climb,” Hinshaw said.
She reminded the public that on Dec. 30, Alberta’s COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked at 943 people. Of those, 155 were in ICUs.
On Wednesday, Hinshaw said, 604 Albertans were in hospitals with the disease, 110 of whom were in intensive care units.
But the numbers are only on par with those seen on Dec. 4.
“This is encouraging news, and a signal that we are making meaningful progress,” Hinshaw said.
“We saw our health-care system come very close to a tipping point. We want to avoid that and we need to make sure that we are taking slow measured steps.”
She added Alberta Health was working on a “framework” that would help Albertans keep track of the metrics that would trigger more reopenings.
VARIANT, VACCINE UPDATE
There are 8,203 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.
To date, more than 112,500 Albertans have recovered from the disease.
With the addition of 12 more deaths on Wednesday, the province’s death tally rose to 1,599.
Hinshaw had no update on Alberta’s so far single, unsourced B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant case, for which officials have found no transmission outside the person’s household.
“The knowledge that this particular variant of concern has been showing up in some other provinces and other countries around the world as a part of community transmission is concerning, and it does need to be factored into our decisions about timing of reopening,” Hinshaw told reporters. “Because if we do enable more activities, more opportunities for people to be in close contact with one another, we could potentially see quicker spreads if the variant is here in more locations than we currently are aware of.”
According to the latest data, reported at the beginning of the week, Alberta labs have confirmed 25 cases of the B.1.1.7 and 501Y-V2 strains first identified in the U.K. and South Africa. All but the one case have been linked to international travel.
Officials are calling immunization a key component of Alberta’s ability to prepare for any spread of two new strains, but say the work is hampered by vaccine supply delays.
Hinshaw said some Albertans who are eligible for a second dose may not yet have been given an appointment because the province is waiting to confirm its supplies arriving in two weeks.
However, she said the goal was to still administer all second shots within the maximum interval tested.
“While I can’t say with certainty at this point, what I can say is that everything possible will be done to provide that second dose to all who have had the first dose within that 42-day period.”
The top doctor asked for all those waiting to remain patient with the system and province.
'That’s about as un-Canadian as you can get': B.C. premier 'disappointed' at people travelling to jump the line for COVID-19 vaccine – Yahoo News Canada
Local Journalism Initiative
Regina– Three more weeks. That’s the length of the most recent extension of public health orders in Saskatchewan meant to limit the spread of COVID-19. Premier Scott Moe made the announcement from the Legislature in Regina on Jan. 26 with chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab. The announcement came on a day when Saskatchewan posted yet another record for COVID-19 related deaths, 14, but has seen a slow drop in new case counts. There are now 2,665 cases are considered active, and on that day, 607 recoveries were reported. Moe said. “The number of new cases in Saskatchewan continues to gradually decline. Today we are reporting 232 new cases, and our seven-day average for new cases is now 254. This is down about 20 per cent from its peak of 321 on Jan. 12. Our active cases are now down to 2,665, the lowest level since Nov. 21, and down over 40 per cent from a peak of 4,763 on Dec. 7. “This gradual decline means that our current public health orders and restrictions are working, but we need to leave them in place a little longer. Therefore, all the current public health orders are being extended for three weeks until Feb. 19.” “These measures are working, when we follow them, as the vast majority of Saskatchewan people and businesses are doing. There have been a small number of mainly bars and restaurants who may not have been following those putting their staff putting their customers and essentially putting their communities at risk. So, I have asked that we increase enforcement on those who choose to break the rules, and in recent days there has been three significant tickets.” Moe also said that two bars in Saskatoon and one in Regina had been issued $14,000 fines. He held out the hope that three weeks from now, Saskatchewan may be able to look at reducing the number of restrictions in place. He pointed out that the province has made a lot of progress in vaccinations. To date, 34,080 doses have been delivered, and those administering it are quite literally getting the most out of every bottle, getting 104 per cent of expected dosages. Moe said, “But we continue to be limited by the slow pace of vaccine deliveries, from to and from the federal government. Saskatchewan now has the highest percentage of vaccines administered, and we have the second-highest per capita rate of vaccinations completed among any of the provinces. “Unfortunately, today we are virtually out of vaccines. And with no new shipments coming this week, our vaccination program will be stalled for the next number of days.” Next week, the province is expecting 12,000 additional doses, of which 5,850 will be Pfizer doses heading to Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford, Yorkton and Swift Current to allow continued vaccination of long-term care residents and staff, as well as those over 70. A further 6,500 Moderna doses will be going to the far northeast, far northwest, and northeast regions of the province for a second doses. In the central-west region, first shots will be administered, Moe said. The province will continue to push the federal government for more vaccines, and to also look at approving additional types of vaccines for use. He referenced the vaccines that AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have been working on. Shahab said, “I think it’s really important that we are seeing a steady decline in our case numbers; all the indicators are moving in the right direction is slow and steady.” Daily case numbers have come down from 24 per 100,000 population to 20 per 100,000. Test positivity is down under 10 per cent, and is doing so throughout the province. When vaccination starts picking up in March and April, “then we hope to see significant impact on hospitalization and deaths,” he said. Until then, we really have to stay the course. “The other thing is that, with our public health measures, some people say it’s too little, some people say it’s too much. But, you know, they try to strike a fine balance between minimizing cases, as long as the guidelines are followed, and letting people work, (and) enjoy other amenities as much as possible.” He added, “But the downward trend does show, that if all of us abide by public health principles, it has a significant impact on our case numbers.” On the same day, Manitoba implemented 14-day quarantines for nearly all travellers to that province. Asked about doing something similar for Saskatchewan, Shahab said it have been looked at, but found to be impractical, given our long borders, and people in border communities who work and shop across the border. But he did recommend minimizing travel. Regarding variants of the COVID-19 virus, Shahab said sampling is done with relation to travel, and some sampling with age groups and geography as well. “I would not be surprised if we saw a variant in Saskatchewan, but again, what we’re doing, is exactly the same. We really have to follow all these public health measures.” Asked about adverse reactions to the vaccines in Saskatchewan, Shahab said there have been around 10 to 15 allergic reactions, some tingling on the face, and one anaphylaxis that was managed safely. They were well-described in the product monograph and have been managed, he said. “Most of them have presented in individuals who may have had a history of allergies, and they have managed well, so at this point the signal is not of any concern, compared to what is known about these vaccines what we were expecting, with what’s know about other vaccines.” He noted the importance of watching those vaccinated for 15 minutes after the shot, and if you have any allergies, make it known and you will be monitored some more. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Vaughn Palmer: Henry reduced to pleading for people to 'do more' in face of COVID-19 – Vancouver Sun
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There were. But not a lot more answers.
Was he in contact with anyone else on his return? “There’s a small number of family contacts … they’re being monitored for symptoms.”
Where had he travelled? “We don’t have a map of where he went.”
Was he Chinese Canadian? “The person is resident here in Vancouver.”
After a few more questions along those lines, Henry put a stop to it: “So I’m not going to talk anymore about that person. I’ve told you what we know. Anything else is rumour.”
Rumours being one of her main concerns of the day.
“I think we need to be very careful about listening to rumours and third- and fourth-hand information,” she cautioned reporters. “What’s concerning to me, having been in the city of Toronto during the SARS outbreak, is how easily those rumours can lead to discrimination, inappropriate discrimination, against people.”
She expressed the hope that “the fact that we’re being open about this, that you know the details that you need to know, that we are on top of this, that people can be reassured the risk still is extremely low here.”
But as would prove to be the case throughout the year, the provincial health officer would be the judge of “the details that you need to know.”
Far from B.C. being unprepared, B.C. was ready for the arrival of the first case from China, according to Henry.
“This first case is not unexpected to us. We know that we have quite a lot of travel between areas in China and particularly Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, but other parts of B.C. as well. We have been on high alert for a number of weeks now.”
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