A large-scale potential COVID-19 exposure incident spanning several days in British Columbia’s Interior, involving individuals from outside the region, has prompted a public notification.
Interior Health issued a news release today (July 10) to alert anyone who attended gatherings in Kelowna’s downtown and waterfront areas from June 25 to July 6 that they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Eight individuals who have been tested positive for COVID-19 had attended private gatherings and visited various businesses in Kelowna, including restaurants and bars, within that time frame.
In addition, health officials are especially concerned about Canada Day and holiday weekend events.
Interior Health stated that six of the infected individuals live outside of the Interior Health region, and CBC News reported that some of the individuals were from the Lower Mainland and Alberta.
Contact tracing is currently being conducted and public health team members will inform any known contacts to isolate for 14 days.
Due to the number of locations and cases involved, anyone who attended any events on those dates is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, breathing problems, loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue, body aches, runny nose, diarrhea, headaches, sore throat, red eyes, or vomiting.
Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately self-isolated and contact healthcare providers or Interior Health testing centres to arrange for testing.
Interior Health is working with other jurisdictions to determine what the source of the outbreak is.
Over this past week, new daily case counts in B.C. have steadily increased, from seven cases on July 6 to 25 cases today.
Recent public exposure incidents have taken place at three nightlife venues in Vancouver while cases have been confirmed at a McDonald’s in Surrey, a gym in Burnaby, and flights to and from Vancouver.
Although travel-related businesses have been reopening in B.C. as part of the province’s Phase 3 of its reopening plan, many communities remain concerned about the possibility of travellers bringing the coronavirus into their regions.
The Haida Nation is opposing the reopening of two luxury fishing lodges reopening without their consent, as they have stated that even one case of COVID-19 could be devastating to their communities due to limited healthcare services and only two ventilators available.
Evening Brief: Drug trials and furry tribulations – iPolitics.ca
Tonight’s Evening Brief is brought to you by Shelter Movers. The COVID-19 pandemic has put women at greater risk of experiencing violence at home than ever before. If someone was there for you when you needed it, pass it on — help us move women and children out of abusive households.
Good evening to you.
We begin with a welcome bit of news on the coronavirus front. The federal ministers responsible for the development and production of a vaccine against COVID-19 announced today that the government has reached a deal with American pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna to manufacture millions of doses of their in-trial vaccines.
The agreements with Pfizer and Moderna are the first the federal government has reached with potential producers of COVID-19 vaccines. At a news conference in Toronto, neither Procurement Minister Anita Anand nor Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains would say how many doses of vaccines each company has agreed to provide, nor how much the federal government has agreed to pay for them. They kept the details secret, citing ongoing negotiations with other vaccine providers. But Charlie Pinkerton has more on the details that are known.
Meanwhile, less than pleasant relations between Canada and China may be standing in the way of this country getting early access to a leading COVID-19 vaccine. It turns out Chinese officials are still holding up a shipment of the drug needed to carry out promised human trials here. Although the federal government signed an accord with CanSino Biologics in the spring to test its vaccine here, the trials have yet to start. Postmedia’s Tom Blackwell reports. (iPolitics had the scoop on this delay a month ago.)
And you might want to check the hand sanitizer you’re lathering yourself in. Health Canada is recalling more than 50 of them that contain ingredients “not acceptable for use” and that may pose health risks.
The Conservatives have asked Canada’s privacy commissioner to probe a “potential data breach of Canadians’ privacy” affecting those who applied for the Canada Student Service Grant.
Party industry critic Michelle Rempel Garner and ethics critic Michael Barrett sent a letter today to Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien regarding how WE Charity stores personal data collected through the program’s application process. It states that the I Want to Help platform that young Canadians used to apply appears to be built by American firm JazzHR, headquartered in Pittsburgh. The now-offline sign-up page was powered by the company. The terms-and-conditions page for the platform states that applicants’ data “may transfer and be stored on a number of servers and storage locations, including, but not limited to, the U.S., Canada and the U.K.” It also states the program may use third-party vendors for tasks such as hosting its website, analyzing data and processing payments. Entities sub-contracted by WE Charity become subject to privacy laws of their own jurisdiction. Jolson Lim has that story.
There seems to be more than a breeze’s worth of change blowing in Atlantic Canada. On the heels of Andrew Furey’s successful bid to replace Premier Dwight Ball in Newfoundland and Labrador earlier this week, there are rumblings New Brunswickers could be headed to the ballot box before long. Speculation that an election call is coming has been swirling for weeks, and Premier Blaine Higgs isn’t dismissing the rumours. But as the Canadian Press reports, he says if a call is coming, it’s not coming this week. It seems he’s trying to decide whether to send the entire province to the polls in a general election or to just hold byelections in at least three ridings this fall. The minority Progressive Conservative government has a caucus meeting this week, as well as Higgs’s nomination meeting, so stay tuned.
In Other Headlines:
In Beirut, the Lebanese government has put port officials under house arrest in the wake of a blast that killed at least 135 people, injured thousands and flattened large swaths of the city.
The focus on the investigation is now on the potential negligence that allowed 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used in fertilizers, to be stored at the facility for six years. Reuters is reporting that documents show customs officials warned of its hazards after it was unloaded from a cargo ship in 2014. Satellite images obtained by CNN show a massive crater in the port, where nearly every building has either sustained significant damage or has been destroyed. As the world responds with aid and assistance, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said today that Canada is ready to assist Lebanon “however we can.”
As what might be the most unusual presidential campaign in American history rolls on, don’t expect to see presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Milwaukee accept his party’s nomination. Amid concerns over the surging coronavirus, he won’t accept it at the Democratic national convention, but rather at home in Delaware.
“From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first,” Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said in a statement today. “We followed the science, listened to the doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives. That’s the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves,” he continued.
Former first lady Michelle Obama dove in deep on her new podcast today, telling listeners she’s “dealing with some form of low-grade depression” this year. “Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting,” Obama said, noting the Trump administration’s response to it all has not helped.
“I don’t think I’m unusual in that,” she said. “But I’d be remiss to say that part of this depression is also a result of what we’re seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest, that has plagued this country since its birth. I have to say that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to yet another story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting. And it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life, in a while.” That story from The Hill.
And as if he doesn’t have enough on his plate, between a pandemic and presidential shenanigans, it turns out Dr. Anthony Fauci and his family are getting death threats. That’s what you get, apparently, for trying to keep people safe.
Finally, today, we leave you with a happy “tail.”
Coal, the last remaining alumnus of the Parliament Hill cat sanctuary, is on the mend after an unfortunate tangle with a piece of string last month. The 12-year-old feline spent three days in emergency under the watchful eye of vets after ingesting it. He’s now home with his humans and doing well. And updating his Facebook page, obviously.
Have a great night.
Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines – Salmon Arm Observer
Canada is signing deals with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and U.S.-based biotech firm Moderna to procure millions of doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccines.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand is announcing the deals this morning in Toronto, which will see Canada get access to the vaccines if they prove to be both safe and effective.
Both companies began Phase 3 clinical trials of their vaccine candidates in the last week, large-scale tests to determine how well the vaccines work.
Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials.
The Phase 3 trials will both test the vaccines on 30,000 people, and results are expected in the fall.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam warned Tuesday about expecting a vaccine to provide a quick end to the pandemic, saying they provide hope but likely no silver bullet for the novel coronavirus.
The Canadian Press
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30% of British Columbians would 'wait and see' before taking COVID vaccine: poll – Chilliwack Progress
Nearly one-third of British Columbians would take a “wait and see” approach to a COVID-19 vaccine, a poll from the Angus Reid Institute suggests.
The poll, released Tuesday (Aug. 4), took an overall look at how Canadians feel about a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 117,000 people and killed nearly 9,000 across the country. Quebec and Ontario have been hardest hit by the virus, with Alberta seeing recent spikes in cases and B.C. reaching 3,641 cases.
Pollsters found that 30 per cent of British Columbians would wait to see how the vaccine worked, or what its side effects were, before getting the shot. That number was similar Canada-wide at 32 per cent, with Ontario and the Atlantic provinces the most likely to wait at 35 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively, and Quebecers the least likely to wait at 29 per cent. Alberta was equal to B.C. at 30 per cent.
British Columbians were the most likely to get the vaccine right away at 52 per cent, above the country’s average at 46 per cent. Residents of Saskatchewan were the least likely to get the vaccine immediately at 33 per cent, with Alberta next at 41 per cent.
About 61 per cent of Canadians overall said they would be concerned about side effects from a vaccine, while 23 per cent each said they would be concerned about getting infected from taking it, its effectiveness or that COVID-19 is not as serious as people say it is.
Canadians who voted Conservative in 2019 were by far the most likely to think the outbreak was not as serious as others say, at 43 per cent compared to eight per cent for Liberal voters and five per cent for NDP.
Across the country, 14 per cent said they won’t get the vaccine when it becomes available, with Alberta and Saskatchewan least likely to get it at 22 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively. Men were less likely than women to agree to the vaccine, and men between 35 and 54 years old were the least likely overall at 21 per cent.
Health officials worldwide largely believe a vaccine could begin to be distributed as early as January 2021, although according to a Russian state news agency, the country said it will begin a national vaccination campaign in October.
Elsewhere, frontrunner Moderna began phase three trials at the end of July, while several other vaccines made by China and by Britain’s Oxford University, based on different vaccine technologies, began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries earlier this month.
Poll results came from an online survey of 1,519 Canadian adults between July 23 and 24, 2020.
– With files from The Associated Press
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Evening Brief: Drug trials and furry tribulations – iPolitics.ca
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