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COVID-19 in B.C.: New cases jump up over 600 mark, West End restaurant with exposure, and more – The Georgia Straight



Earlier this week, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had stated that the province was heading in the right overall direction in lowering case numbers, and data released later in the week from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control illustrated that observation.

At the same, however, she had also cautioned that public health had begun to observe an uptick in specific regions.

Today, B.C. reported a sudden jump in new case numbers, higher than the 300- to 400-case range of the past week.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Police Department released its report about crime in 2020, which revealed that anti-Asian hate crimes soared during the pandemic by 717 percent, compared to 2019.

In health violation news, antimaskers are planning to hold a rally in Vancouver on Saturday (February 20) and only five percent of COVID-19 fines have been paid so far, according to ICBC data.  

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix stated in a news release that there are 617 new cases (including four epi-linked cases) in B.C. today.

  • 342 new cases in Fraser Health (55 percent);
  • 146 in Vancouver Coastal Health (24 percent);
  • 92 in Northern Health (15 percent);
  • 19 in Island Health (three percent);
  • 17 in Interior Health (three percent);
  • one person from outside of Canada (less than one percent).

Northern Health had an unusually high number of cases, while Interior Health had a much lower number than usual.

With a decrease of eight hospitalized cases, there are currently 224 individuals in hospitals, with 60 of them in intensive care units (three less since yesterday).

Sadly there are four new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the cumulative total fatalities to 1,321 people in B.C. who have died during the pandemic.

Public health is monitoring 7,440 people for exposures to identified cases.

A cumulative total of 69,602 people have now recovered.

During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 75,327 cases, which includes:

  • 44,462 cases in Fraser Health (59 percent);
  • 17,371 in Vancouver Coastal Health (23 percent);
  • 7,072 in Interior Health (nine percent);
  • 4,227 in Northern Health (six percent);
  • 2,046 in Island Health (three percent);
  • 149 people from outside of Canada (under one percent).

In B.C.’s immunization program, a total of 180,691 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of today, and 29,952 of those are second doses.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
Province of British Columbia

Unfortunately, two new healthcare outbreaks have been declared.

Fraser Health declared a new healthcare outbreak at Surrey’s Fleetwood Villa, where three residents have tested positive.

Interior Health has declared an outbreak at the Florentine in Merritt, where one resident has tested positive.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) provided an update on cases in Whistler, where it is continuing to observe “a sustained reduction in COVID-19 transmission” in comparison to previous weeks.

From February 8 to 15, there were 56 new cases, plus an additional six older cases that were geographically identified as residents of Whistler.

The total number confirmed since January 1 is now at 676 cases.

VCH stated that the majority of the cases continue to be among young adults, with transmission primarily occurring within household settings.

Hook Seabar

VCH also added a potential exposure event at Hook Sea Bar (1210 Denman Street) in Vancouver’s West End, which took place during operating hours from February 9 to 14.

The restaurant announced on February 16 that it is voluntarily closing for sanitization after one of its staff members tested positive. The reopening date remains to be determined.

“Our team is committed to protecting the health and safety of our community and for that reason we have proactively decided be closed for an open ended amount of time,” the establishment stated.

T&T Supermarket reported that a part-time employee who tested positive last worked on February 11 at the Metrotown store (147–4800 Kingsway) in Burnaby.

Loblaw reported that two of its Real Canadian Superstore locations had staff members who tested positive, which includes:

  • two employees who last worked on February 7 and 13 at the  910 Columbia Street West store in Kamloops;
  • one employee who last worked on February 12 at the 2155 Ferry Avenue store in Prince George.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following four flights to its lists of potential exposures:

  • February 9: WestJet Flight 3110, Kelowna to Calgary;
  • February 12: Aeromexico Flight 9644, Mexico City to Vancouver;
  • February 12, Air Canada Flight 114, Vancouver to Toronto;
  • February 12, Air Canada/Jazz Flight 8050, Victoria to Vancouver.

Affected row information is available at the BCCDC website.


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Manitoba reports lowest test positivity rate since October as 70 new COVID-19 cases announced –



Manitoba announced 70 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and reported its lowest test positivity rate in more than four months.

That rate dropped from 4.6 per cent to 4.3 Thursday — the lowest announced since Oct. 20, when it was at the same spot. Winnipeg’s rate dipped to 3.8 per cent from four a day earlier.

A man in his 70s from the Winnipeg health region died, bringing the province’s total number of coronavirus-linked deaths to 888.

Most of the new cases on Thursday are split between the Winnipeg health region, which has 31 cases, and the Northern Health Region, with 30, the province says in a news release.

There are seven new cases in the Interlake-Eastern health region and two in the Southern Health region, while the Prairie Mountain Health region reported no new infections.

No new cases of the more infectious B117 coronavirus variant first detected in the U.K. have been identified in Manitoba since one was announced on Tuesday, bringing the province’s total to five.

Strict public health orders on Pauingassi First Nation, about 280 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, have been lifted now that the risk of COVID-19 spreading in that community has stabilized, the release says.

The fly-in community of about 500 people brought in stay-at-home orders at the start of this month when nearly one in every four people there tested positive for the illness.

All Manitoba’s other public health orders are still in effect.

Vaccines doses received top 100K

The province has now received more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, according to its online dashboard.

Of the 102,360 doses, 69,060 — about two-thirds — have been administered, the dashboard says.

So far, 2.6 per cent of Manitobans over 18 have gotten both their shots, with 47,920 more immunizations planned over the next 28 days, the dashboard says.

There are now 196 COVID-19 patients in hospital in Manitoba, a drop of 11 since Wednesday. Twenty-six of those people are in intensive care, down by three.

Three previously announced COVID-19 cases were removed from Manitoba’s total on Thursday because of a data correction, the release says. That brings the number of cases identified in the province so far to 31,657.

Of those cases, 29,563 people are considered to have recovered from the illness, while 1,206 are still deemed active — a number health officials have said may be inflated by a data entry backlog.

There were 2,290 more COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba on Wednesday, bringing the total number of swabs completed in the province to 519,892 since early last February.

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Ontario to release new COVID-19 projections today – Toronto Sun



York Region, which moved to the red zone this week, saw 94 new cases

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Ontario recorded 1,054 new cases Wednesday with another 1,291 cases resolved.

Testing confirmed an additional five cases of the United Kingdom variant, known as B.1.1.7, for a total of 405 variant of concern (VOC) cases.

The province had administered 54,852 tests in the previous 24 hours, a positivity rate of 2.4%.

Nine more deaths were linked to the pandemic, bringing the total number of lives lost to 6,893.

Of the three regions still under a stay-at-home order Wednesday, Toronto reported 363 new cases, Peel Region 186 and North Bay-Parry Sound had one case.

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York Region, which moved to the red zone this week, saw 94 new cases.

Ontario’s slow drip vaccine rollout administered just 17,141 doses Wednesday, bringing the total so far to 602,848 doses and 251,590 people fully vaccinated with the required double dose.

Each of the province’s 34 public health units is being asked to come up with a plan to deliver vaccinations.

Article content

  1. None

    Toronto’s top doc concerned about COVID variants

  2. Toronto Public Health Nurse Amanda Alves, far left, greets Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, and Toronto Mayor John Tory, right, as they are given a tour of Toronto's Mass Vaccination Clinic by Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, centre left, on Sunday January 17, 2021.

    Ontario confirms another 57 cases of COVID-19 variants

For instance, Peel Region is planning to set up three large vaccine clinics — one each in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga — but no appointments were being booked as of Wednesday.

Peel confirmed 45,300 doses given out so far which included over 15,500 in long-term-care (LTC) homes and retirement homes.

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Meanwhile, Ontario optometrists say they have been rejected after offering to administer the vaccine.

Ontario veterinarians were recently added to the list of health-care professionals to administer the vaccine, alongside doctors, nurses and pharmacists,” a statement from the Ontario Association of Optometrists released Wednesday said.

“The question is, why have optometrists not been included since they work with patients on a regular basis and many already have had injection training as part of their professional curriculum?”

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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 – Times Colonist



The latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada (all times eastern):

12:15 p.m.

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Nunavut is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

All the new cases are in Arviat, the only community in the territory with active COVID-19 cases.

Because of the rise in cases, Arviat’s hamlet council has imposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.

There are 25 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

11:15 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 858 new COVID-19 infections and 16 more deaths due to the novel coronavirus.

Health authorities say the number of patients requiring hospitalization has declined by 22 to 633, with eight fewer patients in intensive care.

The latest numbers come as the province began accepting appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for those 85 and older.

Officials also say primary school students in Quebec’s red pandemic-alert zones — which includes the greater Montreal area — will be required to wear a mask at all times beginning March 8.

10:40 a.m.

Ontario is reporting 1,138 new cases of COVID-19.

The province is also reporting 1,094 cases have been resolved since yesterday’s update and there have been 23 more deaths linked to the virus.

Ontario is set to release new COVID-19 projections this afternoon.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of Ontario’s science advisory group, is presenting the data.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021.

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