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BC records 34 new COVID-19 cases as province nears 200 test-positives within a week – Peace Arch News

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B.C. has recorded 34 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, and no additional deaths.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed to reporters Wednesday (July 22) that three of the new cases are epi-linked.

This brings the total test-positive active cases to 205. Seventeen people are in hospital, three of those in critical care.

Seventy of the recent confirmed cases are linked to community exposures in Kelowna. Roughly 1,000 people are self-isolating at home, across the entire province, because they have been in contact with someone who has contracted the contagious respiratory illness.

ALSO READ: B.C. restaurant group warns members to follow COVID rules – or shut down

ALSO READ: B.C. launches free day-use passes for 6 provincial parks amid COVID-19 surge

More to come.


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B.C. to hire 500 more health-care workers to increase COVID-19 contact tracing – CBC.ca

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B.C. will temporarily hire 500 more health-care professionals to work as contact tracers for COVID-19, government officials announced Wednesday.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement alongside Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, explaining that public health teams usually follow up on the close connections of people who’ve tested positive for the virus, but more resources are needed during this pandemic.

Henry said the new positions are an important part of preventing disease transmission. They allow health officials to make sure that everyone who has been exposed to the virus is in isolation and monitoring themselves for symptoms.

“This is bread and butter work for public health,” she said.

Recruiting for the 500 positions will be done by public health authorities, and teams will be ready to deploy across the province if needed.

“This allows us now to get more people trained up to do this really important work, as we continue through the progression of our pandemic,” Henry said.

The new contact tracers are expected to begin work in September and will be employed until at least the end of March 2021.

The news comes as new COVID-19 infections continue to surge. On Tuesday, health officials announced that another 46 cases had been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to date to 4,111, including 472 that are still active.

A total of 195 people have died of the disease in B.C.

Good behaviour ‘not consistent’

Henry said Wednesday that despite the increasing number of cases, B.C. is still “holding our own” on contact tracing, managing to reach 98 per cent of the contacts of each new positive case.

Nonetheless, Horgan said he’s concerned about the rising number of cases among young people, particularly those connected to large parties.

“As we’ve seen over the past number of weeks, the good behaviour, the common sense of British Columbians is not consistent across the board,” he said.

Horgan said he hopes B.C. can continue to enforce public health orders mainly through warnings but will escalate penalties with those who continue to flaunt the rules.

He also joked that it might be time to “call in Deadpool,” making a plea for Vancouver-raised movie star Ryan Reynolds — along with comedian Seth Rogen — to publicly encourage young people to avoid large gatherings. 

Watch |  B.C.’s premier asks for superhero help in the fight against COVID-19: “This is a call out to Deadpool right now. Ryan we need your help up here.”

B.C.’s premier puts out a call out to Deadpool star to help encourage young people to avoid large gatherings. 0:34

Meanwhile, Horgan and Henry both addressed calls from some corners for a mask mandate in public spaces, saying they have no plans to make face coverings compulsory.

“We don’t want people to believe that masks will be an invincibility shield for them,” Horgan said.

Henry stressed again that masks are not something that can prevent transmission on their own, but she’s encouraged to see them become increasingly “normalized” in communities.

Earlier Wednesday, Education Minister Rob Fleming released details of a phased plan for the return to school in September.

School staff will arrive on Sept. 8 to receive instructions on plans to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and begin adjusting to the new reality. Students are expected to return for orientation by Sept. 10.

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COVID-19 updates in Calgary for Aug. 13

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Across Canada, the numbers are slightly more conservative, with 52 per cent saying the restrictions are just right, 20 per cent saying they go too far, and 28 per cent wanting to see tighter rules.

People in B.C, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were more open to tighter restrictions to prevent the spread. Alberta and Quebec showed the least openness to that idea.

The poll also asked respondents how they felt about their premier’s handling of the pandemic. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney received the lowest approval rating east of the Atlantic provinces, with 51 per cent saying he was doing a good job, and 47 per cent saying he was doing a bad job.

The results come from an online survey of 1,511 Canadian adults registered on the Angus Reid Forum. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.


Canada’s airports likely to hike passenger fees as need for upgrades rise in the wake of pandemic

A man pushes a baggage cart wearing a mandatory face mask as a “Healthy Airport” initiative is launched for travel, taking into account social distancing protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 23, 2020. Carlos Osorio/REUTERS

Canada’s airports are facing the bill for long-recommended upgrades just as COVID-19 has decimated their revenues and passengers could end up covering the costs when planes take off again.

In early March, before the pandemic was front and centre, the government published new regulations calling for the extension of emergency overshoot areas at major airport runways. The overshoots, called runway end safety areas (RESA), exist at airports around the world and are designed for emergencies when planes run out of room while landing.

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COVID-19 Update: 121 new cases, one additional death | Hinshaw advises teachers to get tested before school starts – Calgary Herald

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Albertans almost evenly split on coronavirus restrictions dissatisfaction

Social and physical distancing signs are pictured on the floors of various business throughout Vancouver and surrounding area Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Too much, or not enough? When it comes to restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Albertans are almost evenly split on that question.

Almost half of Albertans — 48 per cent according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute — say the current restrictions are about right.

Among the other half who say they aren’t satisfied, there is almost an even split between those saying restrictions go too far (25 Per cent) or not far enough (27 per cent).

Across Canada, the numbers are slightly more conservative, with 52 per cent saying the restrictions are just right, 20 per cent saying they go too far, and 28 per cent wanting to see tighter rules.

People in B.C, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were more open to tighter restrictions top prevent the spread. Alberta and Quebec showed the least openness to that idea.

The poll also asked respondents how they felt about their premier’s handling of the pandemic. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney received the lowest approval rating east of the Atlantic provinces, with 51 per cent saying he was doing a good job, and 47 per cent saying he was doing a bad job.

The results come from an online survey of 1,511 Canadian adults registered on the Angus Reid Forum. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.


Canada’s airports likely to hike passenger fees as need for upgrades rise in the wake of pandemic

A man pushes a baggage cart wearing a mandatory face mask as a “Healthy Airport” initiative is launched for travel, taking into account social distancing protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 23, 2020. Carlos Osorio/REUTERS

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