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At the briefing, Henry also released numbers on COVID-19 cases from Dec. 31 to Jan. 4. Over four days, there were 2,211 new cases: 565, 607, 500, and 539 new cases respectively.
During those four days, there were 45 deaths; total COVID-19 deaths in B.C. are now at 946.
The first vaccine approved for use in Canada was by Pfizer-BioNTech on Dec. 9, 2020. The Moderna vaccine was approved Dec. 23, 2020. Both vaccines require two shots to achieve maximum protection against SARS-CoV-2.
Worldwide, there are more than 150 vaccines in development.
Henry said as of January 4, B.C. has received a total 54,625 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
“There has been a lot of planning and preparation required for these vaccines,” Henry said.
Neither vaccine can be kept stable in a fridge. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, for example, has to be kept frozen at -80 to -60 Celsius.
“There is a lot of things we’re not used to having to do when we’re handling vaccines including ultra low temperature gloves, being able to work with liquid nitrogen, (and) thermal containers which are quite heavy and how do you get them from one place to another,” she said.
As well, planning requires a record system to ensure that people receive the correct second dose of whatever vaccine they received the first time. And lot numbers have to be tracked to monitor batches for safety.
Henry said the federal government has contracts with five other vaccine manufacturers including AstraZeneca and Janssen.
Alta. COVID-19 numbers back to early-Dec. levels, health-care system still under strain: Hinshaw – CTV 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.
B.C.'s COVID-19 updates for Jan. 27 | Columbia Valley, Cranbrook, East Kootenay, Elk Valley, Kimberley, Ktunaxa Nation – E-Know.ca
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, today (Jan. 27) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the COVID-19 response in British Columbia.
Today, we are reporting 485 new cases, for a total of 65,719 cases in British Columbia.
There are 4,299 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 303 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 74 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Currently, 6,520 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and a further 58,778 people who tested positive have recovered.
Since we last reported, we have had 115 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 210 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 45 in the Island Health region, 83 in the Interior Health region, 32 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
To date, 124,365 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 4,160 of which are second doses. Immunization data is available on the COVID-19 dashboard at: www.bccdc.ca
There have been four new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,172 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have one new health-care facility outbreak at Glenwood Seniors Community and the outbreak at Villa Cathay is now over. There is also an outbreak at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre.
We continue to see new community clusters around the province – in the Fernie and Williams Lake regions, and elsewhere. These hot spots show, once again, how easily the virus spreads between us.
One year ago today, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our province. Since that day, the impact has been severe; people have become seriously ill and died, our lives have been disrupted and health-care workers everywhere have faced challenges at a scale never experienced before.
In response, people throughout the province have stepped up to put normal routines and activities aside, doing all they can to protect our communities, elders and loved ones. Thank you.
When we are tired, it is easy to let things slip and let our guard down. Yet this only gives the virus a chance to spread a bit more. In these days – when COVID-19 vaccinations are starting, but for most of us are still weeks or months away – the actions we take may seem small, but will ave a big impact to stop the virus in its tracks.
“If you are in the grocery store, follow the pathways and arrows and be sure to give people space at the check-out. If you are going to work or school, remember to wash your hands often throughout the day and wear your mask.
The more people you see and the more places you go, the higher the risk is to you and those around you, which is why gatherings of any size are on pause right now. If you are invited over to spend time with a friend, choose to go outside for a walk instead. And, just as important, if you are thinking about travelling beyond your community for anything other than what is essential for work or medical care, stay home.
Let’s encourage those around us to do the right thing and show kindness and compassion to those who appear not to be.
As we have seen over the past year, one case can turn into thousands. But just as important, the effort we put into keeping ourselves and each other safe can also push our COVID-19 curve back down again.
Lead image: Sanitization station at an entrance to the Prestige Inn and Fire and Oak Restaurant in Cranbrook. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW photo
45 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Island Health – CHEK
British Columbia health officials have reported 485 new cases – including 45 in Island Health – and four deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 65,719 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,172.
Of the new cases, 115 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 210 were in Fraser Health, 45 in Island Health, 83 in Interior Health, and 32 in Northern Health.
There are currently 4,299 active cases in the province, 303 people in hospital — 74 of whom are in intensive care — and 6,520 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.
A total of 58,778 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 and 124,365 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across, 4,160 of which are second doses.
Today’s data was released by health officials in a statement to the media.
More to come
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