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COVID-19: B.C. surpasses 5,000 vaccinations in a day, as eight deaths and 625 new cases reported – Vancouver Sun

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Henry also reported 625 new cases of COVID-19 over the past day and eight deaths. The death toll in B.C. is now 962.

The number of active cases in B.C. is falling slowly and is now at 6,343. Henry said 381 of those cases were being treated in hospital, including 78 in intensive care.

There are 8,719 people in quarantine after being exposed to the disease.

Henry reported one long term care home outbreak — at Sunnybank Retirement Home — and one at Chilliwack General Hospital. There are 52 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities and 10 in hospitals or acute care facilities.

According to the B.C. Ministry of Health, 24 of the 54 residents of the Finnish Manor outbreak in Burnaby that tested COVID-19 positive died from the disease. The outbreak was declared over yesterday.

The Little Mountain Place outbreak in East Vancouver remains the worst in the province.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported more than 1.5 million COVID-19 tests had been taken since the pandemic began.

CAN END HERE

Henry said brighter days were ahead.

“Let’s remember that no matter how dark the days may be, we are all in this storm together and you are not alone: support is available, if you need it.

“While the number of new cases and those with serious illness is higher than any of us want, there is light ahead, and with each day that we do our part and more people get immunized, that light gets brighter.

“Our individual experiences may be unique, but we are in this together. By showing kindness and compassion to those around us, it will help all of us get to the brighter days ahead.”

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


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BC records another four Coronavirus deaths, 485 cases – princegeorgematters.com

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COVID-19 case numbers remain steady in B.C.

In a written statement this afternoon (Jan. 27), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 485 more COVID-19 cases recorded in the past 24 hours for a grand total of 65,719 since January last year. 

Of those, Northern Health found 32 more infections for an updated authority total of 3,283. 

B.C. health officials also announced four more virus-linked deaths, which brings the fatality rate to 1,172.

There are 4,299 people listed as active for COVID-19 in the province, 303 of whom are in hospital with 74 in critical care or ICU.

“One year ago today, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our province,” Henry said in today’s statement.

“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.

“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.”

A total of 58,778 are classified as fully recovered.

Earlier today, Premier John Horgan marked the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 infection to emerge in B.C. by admonishing rule-breakers facilitating the spread of the virus.

“If you are coming into British Columbia on non-essential travel … you better behave appropriately, better follow our public health guidelines or we’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks,” he said during a news briefing in Victoria.

“For those who disregard the rules, we’re going to be taking steps to do what we can to make sure that they feel the pain of trying to get outside the box that all of us have been in.”

But Horgan would not commit to instituting tougher restrictions on interprovincial travellers, such as a 14-day quarantine like the one Manitoba has just instituted.

“We took a good look at the legal and other ramifications of bringing forward restrictions for non-essential travel. We discussed that briefly last week. Until such time as the public health officer advises me that there’s a benefit to going down that road, we’re going to leave it untravelled for the time being,” he said, adding he believes it would be more impractical to restrict travel to B.C. than Manitoba owing to the West Coast possessing more highways and urban centres.

“The challenge is, how would we do it?”

Horgan remained vague on what the government is willing to do to crack down on those flouting the rules beyond fines that already exist.

But he said he’ll “take action” if health officials report an increase in the number of travellers from outside B.C. begins contributing to an increase in community outbreaks.

In our region, Northern Health issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for a Prince George shelter yesterday (Jan. 26). 

The authority is asking anyone who visited Active Support Against Poverty (ASAP) between Jan. 19 and 21 should self-monitor for symptoms. 

“Public health officials are asking people who visited the shelter during this time period, to take extra care to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 until February 5, 2021,” its statement reads. 

“Public health contact tracing is underway and, where possible, NH is reaching out directly to individuals who have been exposed.”

Northern Health adds if people remain healthy and develop no symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate and can continue with their usual daily activities while continuing to follow all COVID-19 safety measures. 

As of this publication, a full up-to-date list of northern B.C. schools marked for a COVID-19 exposure event is as follows: 

  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) – Jan. 18, 2021
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) – Jan. 19-21, 2021
  • Centennial Christian – Terrace (Independent) – Jan. 20-21, 2021
  • Parkside Secondary (SD82) – Jan. 8, 2021; Jan. 12-13, 2021
  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) – Jan. 13-15, 2021
  • Houston Secondary (SD54) – Jan. 13-15, 2021
  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) – Jan. 15, 2021
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) – Jan. 11-14, 2021
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) – Jan. 12-13, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) – Jan. 4-6, 2021; Jan. 11-12, 2021
  • Chalo School (Independent, Fort Nelson First Nation) – Jan. 5-7, 2021; Jan. 6-8, 2021
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) – Jan. 4, 2021; Jan. 11, 2021; 13-14, 2021
  • Clearview Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) – Jan. 7-8, 2021
  • Centennial Christian – Terrace (Independent) – Jan. 11-12, 2021
  • Houston Secondary (SD54) – Jan. 11-13, 2021
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) – Jan. 11, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary (SD52) Jan. 11-13, 2021
  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) – Jan. 8, 2021
  • Lax Kxeen Elementary (SD52) – Jan. 7-8, 12, 2021
  • Decker Lake Elementary (SD91) – Jan. 4-6, 2021
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) – Jan. 6-7, 2021
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) – Jan. 4-6, 2021
  • McNaughton Secondary (SD28) – Jan. 6-8, 2021
  • Valemount Secondary (SD57) – Jan. 6, 2021
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) – Jan. 4, 2021
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) – Jan. 4, 2021
  • Mountain Christian (Independent) – Dec. 18, 2020
    • Dec. 18, 2020 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Cedars Christian – Prince George (Independent) – Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30, 2020
  • Bert Ambrose Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 17-18, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Sacred Heart Elementary (Diocese of Prince George) – Dec. 10-11, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Parkside Secondary (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Ecole Mountain View Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) – Dec. 11, 2020
    • Dec. 11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25 
  • Margaret Ma Murray Community School (SD60) – Dec. 7-11, 2020; Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30
  • Alwin Holland Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) – Dec. 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31
  • Bert Bowes Middle (SD60) – Dec. 14-16, 2020; Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 17-18; Nov. 16, 18-20, 30, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Pinewood Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 14-15, 2020; Dec. 14-18, 2020
    • Dec. 14-15 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
    • Dec. 14-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Southridge Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 10, 2020
    • Dec. 10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) – Dec. 10-11, 2020; Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
  • Heather Park Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 1-2, 3, 4, 7-8, 2020
    • Dec. 11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020 
  • Westwood Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 9; Dec. 8, 2020
    • Dec. 8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
    • Dec. 9 = Self-monitoring endedDec. 23, 2020 
  • St. Mary’s Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) – Dec. 8-11, 2020; Dec. 7-10, 2020; Dec. 3-4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020
    • Dec. 7-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec 24, 2020
    • Dec. 8-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec.25, 2020
  • Mountain View Christian Academy (Independent) – Dec. 8-10, 2020; Dec. 7-8, 2020
    • Dec. 7-8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
    • Dec. 8-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Thornhill Primary School (SD82) – Dec. 4, 7-11, 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 4, 7-11,14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Walnut Park Elementary (SD54) – Dec. 9-10, 2020; Dec. 13-15, 2020
    • Dec. 9-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
    • Dec. 13-15 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
  • Shas Ti-Kelly Road Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 7-11, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 10-11, 2020; Dec. 17-18, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 1 and 2, 2020
  • Dawson Creek Secondary – South Peace Campus (SD59) – Dec. 8, 2020; Nov. 16-18, 2020; Sept. 23-25, 2020
    • Dec. 8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) – Dec. 7 and 10, 2020
    • Dec. 10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) – Dec. 7, 2020; Oct. 15-16, 2020
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 2-3, 4, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) – Dec. 3-4, 2020; Nov. 22-25, 2020; Sept. 16-18, 2020
  • Suwilaawks Community School – Terrace (SD82) – Dec. 1-2, 3-4, 2020; Nov. 27, 30, 2020
  • Kitwanga Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1-3, 2020
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 1-3, 2020; Nov. 18, 2020; Oct. 2, 2020
  • Margaret Ma Murray Community School (SD60) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Nov. 23-26, 27, 30, 2020
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) – Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 19-20, 20-26, 30, 2020
  • Veritas Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • Anne Roberts Young Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • Bert Ambrose Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary (SD91) – Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 25-26, 2020; Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • William Konkin Elementary in Burns Lake (SD91) – Nov. 16, 23-24, 23-27, 2020
  • Energetic Learning Campus in Fort St. John (SD60) – Nov. 16-20, 23-27, 30, 2020
  • Peden Hill Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 12-17, 17-20, 24-27, Nov. 30, 2020
  • Centennial Christian in Terrace (Independent) – Nov. 23-26, 2020; Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) – Nov. 10, 12-13, 16, 19-20, 24-26, 2020; Dec. 16-17, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Sacred Heart Elementary (Diocese of Prince George) – Nov. 25-27, 2020
  • Charlie Lake Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 23-24, 16-26, 2020, Dec. 14-18, 2020
    • Dec. 14-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Ecole College Heights Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 19-20, 20-24, 2020
  • Beaverly Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 23-24, 2020
  • Foothills Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 23, 2020
  • Lakes District Secondary (SD91) – Nov. 23, 2020, Dec. 17, 2020
    • Dec. 17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Chetwynd Secondary (SD59) – Nov. 13, 2020
  • Van Bien Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 9-10, 2020
  • Ron Brent Elementary (SD57) – Oct. 30, 2020
  • Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) – Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2020
  • Immaculate Conception School (Diocese of Prince George) – Oct. 21-23, 2020
  • Roosevelt Park Elementary (SD52) – Oct. 21-22, 2020
  • Notre Dame in Dawson Creek (Private) – Oct. 13-14, 2020
  • Quesnel Junior Secondary (SD28) – Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary (SD59) – Sept. 10-11, 2020

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the following flights involving Prince George have been flagged for COVID-19 exposure: 

  • March 5 = Air Canada flight 8209 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows nine to 15
  • March 12 = Central Mountain Air flight 9M728 from Prince George to Kelowna – rows not reported
  • March 15 = Central Mountain Air flight 9M725 from Kelowna to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Aug. 21 = Air Canada flight 8212 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows six to 12
  • Aug. 24 = Flair Air flight 8711 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows 26 to 32
  • Aug. 24 = Flair Air flight 8711 from Prince George to Edmonton – rows 26 to 32
  • Oct. 13 = Flair Air flight 8187 from Prince George to Edmonton – rows 10 to 16
  • Oct. 18 = Air Canada flight 8209 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows eight to 14
  • Oct. 18 = Flair Air flight 8186 from Edmonton to Prince George – rows two to six
  • Oct. 22 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows three to nine
  • Oct. 31 = Flair Airlines flight 8186 from Edmonton to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 2 = Flair Airlines flight 8187 from Prince George to Edmonton – rows 26 to 32
  • Nov. 10 = Air Canada flight 8201 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows one to seven
  • Nov. 23 = WestJet flight 3297 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet light 3277 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet flight 3282 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows not reported
  • Nov. 26 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 27 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows not reported
  • Dec. 16 = Air Canada/Jazz flight 8208 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows 14 to 20
  • Dec. 16 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows 16-19
  • Dec. 18 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows 15 -19
  • Dec. 18 = Air Canada/Jazz flight 8208 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows one to four
  • Dec. 19 = WestJet flight 3290 flight from Prince George to Vancouver – rows four to 10
  • Dec. 26 = Air Canada flight 8213 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows seven to 13
  • Dec. 30 = WestJet flight 3277 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows 13 to 19
  • Dec. 31 = Flair Airlines flight 8712 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows 13 to 19
  • Jan. 1 = WestJet flight 3282 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows three to nine

– with files from Tyler Orton, Business In Vancouver, and The Canadian Press

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Alberta's highest rates of active COVID-19 are in rural areas now – CBC.ca

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Alberta’s big cities were the epicentre of COVID-19 for a period last fall but lately it’s rural areas that have seen the highest rates of active cases, relative to their population.

“I think there’s a misconception that there are no cases and no impact in rural zones,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said last week.

“But, in actual fact, we have seen quite high numbers in some rural places.”

Alberta Health divides the province into 132 “local geographic areas” in order to monitor a variety of health outcomes and, as of Tuesday’s data update, the top 10 areas for active COVID-19 cases, per capita, were all rural.

Some of these areas have names similar to nearby municipalities but it’s important to note the boundaries defined by Alberta Health are not identical to the municipal boundaries you might be more familiar with.

  • Scroll down for a map showing all 132 local areas and their active-case rates

Many of these rural areas don’t have massive outbreaks in terms of absolute numbers, but do have high numbers of active cases relative to the number of people who live there.

In the Frog Lake and Wabasca areas of northeastern Alberta, for instance, nearly 1 out of 100 people had an active case of COVID-19, as of Tuesday’s data update. A bit further north and west, in the La Lac Biche and High Prairie areas, it was about 1 out of 150 people.

Wetaskiwin County in central Alberta had the highest rate in the province in early January, with about 1 in 50 people battling an active infection at that time. But the numbers there have since been on the decline.

Changes over time

These recent trends stand in contrast to last fall, when the highest active-case rates were seen in Edmonton and Calgary.

But it’s not unusual for rural areas to see sudden spikes like this. An outbreak in a small community can quickly affect a significant portion of its population.

Since the pandemic began, there have been periodic surges in viral spread in a wide variety of locations, from the most remote corners of the province to the most densely populated urban areas.

“COVID-19 cannot be restricted to a specific municipality, and what we have seen … is how interconnected we all are,” Hinshaw said.

“The movement between different towns, the movement between large, urban centres and small rural areas — all of that movement is part of what spreads COVID-19.”

The interactive map below shows all 132 local health areas, as defined by Alberta Health, and the latest active-case rates in each area. The darker the shading, the higher the rate.

You can zoom in, scroll around and click on an area for more information.

You can also type the name of a community into the search bar to locate it on the map.

When you zoom in past a certain point, labels appear on each area showing the latest count of active cases.

If the map isn’t displaying well on your mobile device, click here for a standalone version.

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Hamilton's COVID vaccine clinic shut down | TheSpec.com – TheSpec.com

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The COVID-19 vaccine clinic temporarily closed at Hamilton Health Sciences amid shortages that have limited immunization to only residents of seniors’ homes and second doses.

The clinic shut its doors Wednesday after reducing appointments on Monday and Tuesday to 300 a day from 1,000 at its height.

It comes as hospitals struggle to care for high numbers of COVID patients, with six more sent to Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara from overburdened hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.

In total, 21 COVID patients have been transferred to area hospitals — seven to the Charlton Campus of St. Joseph’s Healthcare, five to Hamilton General Hospital, six to Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital and three to Niagara Health.

Hamilton hospitals were caring for 135 COVID patients Wednesday. To compare, fewer than 150 people total were hospitalized in Hamilton over the first four months of the pandemic.

The last month has seen a particularly significant jump, with HHS caring on Wednesday for nearly double the number of COVID patients at 97 than it was on Dec. 29, when it set a record of 50.

There is hope hospitals will see relief as new daily infections are lower now than at the beginning of January.

Hamilton reported 70 new cases Wednesday — only once in the last nine days has the number been above double digits. It’s also well below the single-day record of 209 set on Jan. 5.

But provincial public health officials caution the number of COVID infections remain high. To compare, Hamilton’s single-day record was 71 on Nov. 26, when the city was in the red zone.

There is also worry about three fast-spreading COVID variants — one is already in Ontario, although there have been no cases of the B.1.1.7 variant found in Hamilton so far despite increased surveillance.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, cautioned Monday that the B.1.1.7 variant “took off exponentially” in the U.K.

“We haven’t seen that yet,” he said. “That gives me some reassurance that our measures are holding.”

Hamilton’s pandemic death toll is 243 after the city reported three more COVID deaths Wednesday — 11 deaths have been reported in two days.

Of the most recent deaths, two appear to be seniors age 80 or more and one appears to be between the ages of 70 to 79. It’s unknown if they died in outbreaks because the city no longer provides that information.

There was a new death reported in the outbreak on unit E3 of Juravinski Hospital, where 29 have been infected and seven have died. As of Wednesday, there are outbreaks on 11 hospital units at HHS and St. Joseph’s.

The city’s 50 ongoing outbreaks also include 22 seniors’ homes and 11 other vulnerable congregate settings, including the Salvation Army Lawson Ministries, where an outbreak was declared Jan. 26 after two people tested positive.

In addition, there are outbreaks at three workplaces and three daycares.

Outbreaks have been declared over at long-term-care home Idlewyld Manor, accounting firm Pettinelli Mastroluisi on James Street South and Rygiel Supports for Community Living on the west Mountain. However, a second Rygiel outbreak is ongoing.

No date has been given yet for when the HHS immunization clinic will reopen for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s second doses, some of which started being administered on Jan. 18.

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The second doses will be stretched as far out as 42 days compared to the recommended 21. Only residents of seniors’ homes are expected to get the second dose on time. The second dose of the Modena vaccine will be give within the recommended 28 days.

So far 19,200 doses have been administered in Hamilton but public health can’t provide any kind of breakdown of who has received them. It also doesn’t know how many seniors are left to vaccinate in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes.

It’s significant because the province wants residents vaccinated by Feb. 5 and is diverting vaccine to make that happen.

Local public health said in a statement that no vaccine destined for Hamilton has been diverted so far.

It has blamed the lack of data on the province.

“It’s a complete lack of transparency,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “Why all the secrecy?”

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