A coronavirus cluster has been declared in the small B.C. city of Revelstoke.
On Thursday, Interior Health announced a spike in cases in Revelstoke and the surrounding area, stating 22 cases have been identified over the past 14 days, including 12 cases reported on Tuesday.
The health agency said social gatherings appear to be responsible for some of these transmissions.
“This highlights the importance, especially at this time, of limiting your social activities and following COVID-19 protocols when indoors,” said Interior Health.
“This includes maintaining physical distancing and masking when unable to stay apart.”
It also said “this cluster illustrates that COVID-19 is in smaller rural communities as well as larger urban centres.”
Video appears to Dawson Creek Walmart employee assaulted after asking someone to wear a mask
According to the health agency, no exposures have been identified in Revelstoke school settings at this time, and that students can continue to go to school.
“If there is a case, school administration will be alerted and appropriate steps taken to communicate with parents and ensure the safety of our school population,” it said.
Interior Health said it will monitor this cluster for additional cases, adding “we also would like to highlight the importance of limiting travel to essential travel only.”
Located around 560 kilometres east of Vancouver along the Trans-Canada Highway, Revelstoke has an official population of around 7,000 – though that was from 2016. Last year, following a third-party count, the city said in a press release its population was around 13,000.
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Coronavirus Update: British Columbia announces plans for mass vaccination – The Globe and Mail
Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- British Columbia announces plans for mass vaccination
- Another six residents at a long-term care facility in Barrie have died after being infected with an unidentified COVID-19 variant
- COVID-19 variant spreading across South Africa can evade immunity, research suggests
In the last 7 days, 41,701 cases were reported, down 19% from the previous 7 days. There were 1,099 deaths announced, up 8% over the same period. At least 4,260 people are being treated in hospitals and 652,829 others are considered recovered.
About 84% of the 928,500 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 2.0 doses for every 100 people in Canada.
Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening • Canada’s vaccine distribution plan • Developing/approved vaccines • Pfizer’s vaccine, explained • Essential resources
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Coronavirus in Canada
- Experts in Ontario are pointing to workplace transmission as a major source of COVID-19 infection, and say better testing, paid sick leave, and stronger enforcement is needed to slow the spread in the province. Meanwhile, another six residents of the long-term care home Roberta Place in Barrie have died after being infected with an unidentified variant of COVID-19. And, a Whitby couple have been charged with misleading health officials after contracting the U.K. variant of COVID-19.
- British Columbia announced plans for a mass vaccination campaign starting in April, with an aim to immunize 4.3 million residents aged 18 and over by the end of September. Meanwhile, school districts in the province spent just $5-million of the $35-million federal pandemic fund to upgrade ventilation at schools. Instead, school districts spent almost triple that ($14.8-million) on hiring more cleaning staff and buying more supplies to enhance the cleaning at schools.
- Yesterday, Alberta said that thousands of residents in privately funded congregate care facilities haven’t received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are not, as a group, given priority in the government’s inoculation plan. Earlier this week, the province said it had vaccinated residents and staff in facilities subsidized by taxpayers – however, this excludes facilities that may offer care for seniors in similar settings but are funded privately.
In Ottawa, the federal government is looking at options that would make it harder for people to return from foreign trips, including hotel quarantines for returning travellers.
- However, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the tools already in place must also be fully utilized, including more police enforcement of two-week quarantine rules for arriving travellers.
- Public Health Agency of Canada figures show 153 flights have arrived from outside Canada over the last two weeks on which at least one passenger later tested positive for COVID-19.
- Health Minister Patty Hajdu said 50,000 tickets for international travel have been cancelled since the rule requiring a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a plane to Canada was announced.
Also today: In a call with President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wants to collaborate with the United States on ending the pandemic. Trudeau said the two leaders are in alignment on several issues and is “looking to be co-ordinated and aggressive” in increasing measures against COVID-19.
Coronavirus around the world
- The mutations in the new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa may evade the immunity that is normally provided by previous infection, researchers are discovering. The variant, thought to be about 50 per cent more transmissible, has become the dominant form of coronavirus in the country, fueling a dramatic surge of cases in the last two months.
- The Prime Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson, said the new U.K. COVID-19 variant “may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” though both vaccines currently used in the country are effective treatments against it. However, the U.K. variant is more transmissible, and is putting the country’s health service under “intense pressure,” the Prime Minister added.
- Air passengers bound for the United States will need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from coronavirus starting Jan. 26. The new rules are part of a series of sweeping executive orders signed by President Biden yesterday.
Coronavirus and business
Pfizer committed today to supplying up to 40-million COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing countries, as part of COVAX, the World Health Organization-backed effort to get affordable shots to poor and middle-income countries.
Also today: Corporate Canada is still a boys’ club, data analysis shows – and the COVID-19 pandemic could make it more so.
- Andrew Coyne: Well done, everyone: Vaccines were our last line of defence, but now our governments have bungled that as well
- Robyn Urback: This far into the pandemic, shouldn’t lockdowns be more nuanced?
- Gary Mason: British Columbia’s assault on its surgery backlog has been a pandemic success story
- Jeremy Cohen: Online learning is worsening the already-uneven educational experience for neurodiverse students
- Canada deported 12,122 people even as COVID-19 raged in 2020, according to data seen by Reuters.
- Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 shot is safe and produced immune response in early human trial, a study shows.
- The newest James Bond film, No Time to Die, has been delayed for the second time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The pandemic has fuelled interest in cosmetic procedures, but critics question the timing.
Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.
IH won't say how many care home residents have been vaccinated – Kelowna News – Castanet.net
Interior Health continues to keep quiet on its progress vaccinating residents and staff in Interior long-term care homes.
Friday morning, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province is on track to immunize all long-term care home residents and staff “within the next few days.”
But after Interior Health told Castanet last week that it planned to have “all of the priority one population” – which includes long-term care residents – immunized by the end of February, Interior Health could not provide an update Friday.
“The vaccination rollout is continuing. We don’t have the percentages for all areas to share,” an unnamed IH spokesperson said in an email late Friday afternoon, adding they will try and get more details on their progress by Monday.
IH had a similar response back on Jan 13, when a spokesperson said they “do not have reporting numbers quite ready to go for IH.”
On Friday, Dr. Henry, Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Penny Ballem outlined the province’s COVID-19 vaccination plan over the next few months, with long-term care home residents and staff at the top of the priority list.
“We’re focusing particularly on residents and staff in long-term care homes, as we know that is where the highest risk for both sickness and death is in the province right now,” Dr. Henry said.
Last week, Dr. Henry said it can take longer to immunize those in care homes in the Northern and Interior health regions, due to more spaced out geography. But other than an announcement about vaccinations beginning at the first Interior care home in Oliver on Jan. 8, Interior Health has provided no information about their progress.
To date, 41 of the 59 people who’ve died from COVID-19 in the Interior were care home residents.
COVID-19: Canadian tech companies pledge to give staff time to get vaccinations – CollingwoodToday
TORONTO — A growing number of Canadian tech businesses are promising to allow their staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on company time.
At least 35 tech companies in the country, including SkipTheDishes, Borrowell, and FreshBooks, have signed a new pledge from the Council of Canadian Innovators vowing to let their staff slip out of work to get the shot.
They say they are keen on giving workers the time because vaccinations are more important than business as usual.
The signatories will try to tackle misinformation by providing reliable information from public health agencies about vaccine safety and efficacy to employees.
They are promising to share information with staff about where, when and how people can be vaccinated, as soon as the shots are available to the wider population.
Canada has so far administered just over 738,000 doses of the vaccine to health-care workers and long-term care home residents.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.
The Canadian Press
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