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COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 550 new cases per day; 19 flights and 13 food outlets with exposures; and more – The Georgia Straight



As B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization program continues on, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry expressed concerns about case numbers remaining at high levels.

Over the weekend, new case counts were all above 550 for each day.

Henry said that transmissions are primarily still happening in two main settings: at workplaces and in homes, especially in the Lower Mainland. She emphasized that all indoor gatherings of any size remain high risk.

Henry warned that the B117 (U.K.) variant is even “more transmissible” and that it is “much easier to spread it with even minimal contact in indoor settings”.

In addition, she said that increases in the numbers of younger people who require hospitalization or intensive care are particularly concerning.

Meanwhile, Henry also said that the latest AstraZeneca-SII vaccine trials from the U.S. have shown high effectiveness (79 percent), which is greater than what was previously reported.

Henry said that there was a total of 1,785 new cases (including two epi-linked cases) in B.C. over the past three time periods.

By day, that includes:

  • 556 new cases from March 19 to 20;
  • 598 new cases from March 20 to 21;
  • 631 new cases from March 21 to 22.

By region, the total includes:

  • 1,010 new cases in Fraser Health;
  • 469 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
  • 133 in Northern Health;
  • 89 in Island Health;
  • 84 in Interior Health;
  • no one from outside of Canada.

Currently, there are 5,290 active cases, which is 83 more cases since March 19.

Hospitalized cases also increased. With 11 more people than March 19, there are now 303 patients, and 80 of them are in intensive care units.

Public health is monitoring 9,330 people, which is a decrease of 82 people since March 19.

Tragically, there were 16 deaths over the past three days. B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said there were nine deaths from March 19 to 20, four deaths from March 20 to 21, and three deaths from March 21 to 22.

By region, Dix said there were 10 deaths in Fraser Health, five deaths in Northern Health, and one death in Interior Health.

The total number of fatalities in B.C. from COVID-19-related causes during the pandemic is now at 1,437 people who have died.

Over the past three days, 1,668 people recovered, which increases the cumulative total to 85,746 recoveries.

B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 92,571 cases during the pandemic.

Henry said there have been 166 new variants cases over the past three days, which raises the cumulative total to 1,366 cases.

Of those total cases, 237 are active cases.

The total includes:

  • 1,240 cases of the B117 (U.K.) variant (with most cases in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health according to Henry);
  • 85 cases of the P1 (Brazil) variant (Henry said there were 20 new cases);
  • 41 cases of the B1351 (South Africa) variant.

Henry added that two clusters of the P1 variant have been identified.

By region, that includes:

  • 1,047 cases in Fraser Health;
  • 276 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
  • 30 in Interior Health (which Henry said includes 10 new cases);
  • eight in Island Health;
  • five in Northern Health.

Currently, 23 variant cases are in hospitals. She said that they have not seen any increases in hospitalizations or deaths due to the variants.

As of today, 539,408 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-SII vaccines have been administered in B.C., and 87,161 of those are second doses.

Regarding health reactions to vaccinations, Henry said that there have been 494 adverse events in B.C. Of those reactions, 50 were anaphylaxis, or allergic reactions.

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

Henry said there aren’t any new healthcare outbreaks.

Fraser Health declared the outbreak over at Chilliwack General Hospital.

Henry said there are 11 active outbreaks in healthcare facilities, including four in longterm care facilities and seven in acute care facilities.

There also aren’t any new community outbreaks.

Northern Health announced on March 21 that the community outbreak at the Pretium Resources Brucejack Mine, located north of Stewart, has been declared over (it was originally declared on February 10). In this outbreak, there were a total of 51 cases, with one death.

None of the five regional health authorities added any new public exposure events to their lists.

McDonald’s listed three locations which had staff members who tested positive:

  • one employee who last worked on March 15 at the 7005 120th location in Delta;
  • one employee who last worked on March 18 at the 800–800 15th Street East location in Prince Albert;
  • one employee who last worked on March 20 at the 3465 Saanich Road location in Victoria.

Sobeys added four stores to its list of locations with staff members who tested positive.

Two stores were Safeway locations:

  • one employee who tested positive last worked on March 12 at the 200–2 Avenue West location in Prince Rupert, where five employees were previously reported to have tested positive; 
  • an employee who tested positive last worked on March 16 at the 45610 Luckakuck Way location in Chilliwack.

The other two stores were Thrifty Foods locations:

  • one employee who tested positive last worked on March 15 at 11895 226th Street location in Maple Ridge;
  • an employee who tested positive last worked on March 16 at the 70 Brew Street location in Port Moody.

Loblaw added six stores to its list of location with staff members who tested positive.

One location was Shoppers Drug Mart at 4827 Kingsway in Burnaby, where an employee who tested positive last worked on March 18.

The other five stores were Real Canadian Superstore locations:

  • an employee who tested positive last worked on March 9 at the 2332 160th Street location in Surrey;
  • one employee who tested positive last worked on March 15 at the 2855 Gladwin Road location in Abbotsford;
  • one employee who tested positive last worked on March 15 at the 2155 Ferry Avenue location in Prince George;
  • three employees who tested positive last worked on March 16, 17, and 18 at the 8195 120th Street location in Delta;
  • several employees (number and dates not specified) from the 7550 King George Boulevard location in Surrey have tested positive.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following 19 flights to its lists of public exposures:

  • March 10: Air Canada 314, Vancouver to Montreal;
  • March 10: Air India 185, Delhi to Vancouver;
  • March 12: Air Canada 311, Montreal to Vancouver;
  • March 14: Air Canada 106, Vancouver to Toronto;
  • March 14: Air Canada 124, Vancouver to Toronto;
  • March 14: WestJet 164, Vancouver to Edmonton;
  • March 14: Air Canada 124, Vancouver to Toronto;
  • March 14: Air Canada 242, Vancouver to Edmonton;
  • March 15: Air Canada/Jazz 8181, Vancouver to Fort St. John;
  • March 15: Air Canada 225, Calgary to Vancouver;
  • March 15: Air Canada 242, Vancouver to Edmonton;
  • March 15, WestJet 3307, Fort St. John to Calgary;
  • March 16: Air Canada 8245, Terrace to Vancouver;
  • March 16: Swoop 182, Abbotsford to Edmonton;
  • March 17: Air Canada 45, Delhi to Vancouver;
  • March 17: Air India 185, Delhi to Vancouver;
  • March 17: Air Canada/Jazz 8182, Fort St. John to Vancouver;
  • March 18: WestJet 711, Vancouver to Kelowna;
  • March 19: Air Canada 45, Delhi to Vancouver.

Affected row information is available at the BCCDC website. 


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Canada signs deal with Pfizer for millions of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine doses- PM Trudeau



Canada has signed a deal with  Pfizer Inc to receive 2.9 million doses of their pediatric COVID-19 vaccine shortly after it is approved for use by Health Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.

“We will be receiving enough doses in Canada to ensure that all children in Canada, aged five to 11, can receive the vaccine,” said Trudeau. The vaccine is currently being reviewed by Health Canada.


(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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Canada government, provinces agree COVID-19 vaccine travel passport – officials



Canada’s federal government and the 10 provinces have agreed on a standard COVID-19 electronic vaccination passport allowing domestic and foreign travel, government officials told reporters on Thursday.

The deal prevents possible confusion that could be caused if each of the provinces – which have primary responsibility for health care – issued their own unique certificates. The officials spoke on the condition they not be identified.

The document will have a federal Canadian identifying mark and meets major international smart health card standards.

“Many (countries) have said they want to see a digital … verifiable proof of vaccination, which is what we’re delivering,” said one official.

In addition, federal officials are talking to nations that are popular with Canadian travelers to brief them about the document.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this month that from Oct 30, people wishing to travel domestically by plane, train or ship would have to show proof of full vaccination.


(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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The Ottawa area's weekly COVID-19 vaccination checkup: Oct. 21 –




  • Updates to Ontario and Quebec’s proof-of-vaccination systems.
  • More details on the reopening of the U.S. land border.
  • Another step toward approval of a vaccine for children age five to 11.
  • Ottawa hits some major vaccination milestones.

Every Thursday, CBC Ottawa brings you this roundup of COVID-19 vaccination developments throughout the region. You can find more information through links at the bottom of the page.

There have been more than 3.5 million doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region, which has about 2.3 million residents.

That’s about 25,000 doses in the last week, slightly fewer than the previous weekly count.

Provincial picture

Ontario’s proof-of-vaccination QR codes can be used starting Friday. People can still give paper or PDF proof, but the QR codes and provincial app used to check them are meant to be more efficient.

Quebec has a new vaccination record specifically designed for use out of the province.

Proof of vaccination is now required for visitors to many health-care facilities in Quebec. While its unvaccinated health-care workers aren’t yet suspended without pay, they are losing their pandemic bonuses.

Most members of Parliament — and anyone else entering the House of Commons — will have to be fully vaccinated when Parliament returns on Nov. 22.

Ninety per cent of eligible Quebec residents have had at least one dose and 86 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Eighty-eight per cent of Ontario residents age 12 and up have at least one vaccine dose, while about 83 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Quebec is allowing bars and restaurants to reach full capacity under its vaccine passport and halving the two-metre distance rule as of Nov. 1.

One week later, the United States land border with Canada reopens to non-essential travel for the fully vaccinated, including those with mixed doses.

WATCH | The upcoming U.S. border rules: 

Travellers with mixed vaccine doses to be accepted in U.S.

5 days ago

CBC News explains the United States’ new stance on travellers with mixed vaccine doses. The country will now accept Canadians with mixed vaccines, including AstraZeneca, when the new rules begin on Nov. 8. 3:15

After submitting its trial data, Pfizer has officially asked Health Canada to approve its vaccine for children age five to 11.

Ontario’s health minister says the province will be ready to go when the first such vaccine is available.

WATCH | What expanded eligibility may look like: 

COVID-19 vaccines for kids could face hurdles after approval

Health Canada is reviewing data for the first COVID-19 vaccine for younger children, but even if it’s approved, the hurdles could include vaccine supply, distribution and getting some parents on board. 3:38


The capital still has regular and pop-up clinics for anyone eligible to get a first, second or third dose, has neighbourhood vaccine hubs, and is bringing mobile vaccine clinics to those who request it.

There are pop-ups Friday afternoon at the Banff-Ledbury Pavilion and Saturday at Communauté Catholique Congolaise Bondeko d’Ottawa-Gatineau in Vanier.

More than 1.6 million doses have now been given to Ottawa residents.

Of the city’s total population of just over one million, 78 per cent of residents have had at least one dose, including 90 per cent of residents born in 2009 or earlier.

Seventy-five per cent of the total population is fully vaccinated, as are 86 per cent of eligible residents.

This combined bar and line graph shows vaccination numbers for Ottawa residents born in 2009 or earlier. Every age demographic is above 85 per cent fully vaccinated except for two: 18 to 29 and 30 to 39. Both moved slightly closer to that mark in the last week. (Ottawa Public Health)

An infectious disease specialist said this high level of vaccination will begin to reflect in a declining number of new cases — even among people who don’t have the vaccine.

Western Quebec

CISSSO continues to list recurring, mobile and pop-up clinics online.

The Outaouais has distributed more than 596,000 doses — combined first, second and third — among a population of about 386,000.

All in a Day8:57How to talk about COVID-19 breakthrough cases

Cardiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Labos talks to us about how to talk about COVID-19 breakthrough cases and possible side effects from taking the COVID-19 vaccines in a way that doesn’t contribute to vaccine hesitancy. 8:57

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington

It’s managing smaller clinics and mobile clinics to better reach areas with lower vaccination rates, with options shared regularly online and on its social feeds.

A mobile clinic is coming to the Addington Highlands Community Centre in Denbigh Thursday afternoon.

The region, with a population of about 213,000, has had more than 328,000 vaccine doses — combined first, second and third — given to residents.

The health unit has now given a first dose to about 89 per cent of its population 12 and older, and about 85 per cent of eligible people have been fully vaccinated.

WATCH | What it means when a health unit is around 90% vaccinated: 

Ottawa reaches 90 per cent of residents with first dose, offering hope for herd immunity

2 days ago

Dr. Gerald Evans, an infectious disease specialist at Queen’s University, said Ottawa’s high rate of vaccination means case numbers should decline, even among those who aren’t vaccinated. 1:01

Eastern Ontario Health Unit

About 324,000 vaccine doses have been administered among a population of about 209,000. About 90 per cent of residents 12 and older are partially vaccinated, and about 86 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Details for its regular and pop-up vaccine clinics are regularly shared on its website and social media. There are clinics Thursday at Cornwall’s Benson Centre and Friday at Rockland’s Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena.

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.

The health unit has given nearly 296,000 doses to residents, seeing 97 per cent of its eligible population with at least one dose and about 94 per cent of those residents have at least two doses.

The unit is posting walk-up vaccine locations on Twitter and online. Upcoming options include Prescott’s Leo Boivin Arena Thursday and the Christian Reformed Church in Athens Friday.

It’s making sure people saw the updated guidance they don’t have to space out flu and COVID-19 shots.

WATCH | Hospital workers in Ottawa area mostly vaccinated against COVID-19

Majority of Ottawa-area hospital staff fully vaccinated as deadline arrives

6 days ago

Dr. Alan Drummond, an emergency room physician at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, says health care providers have an obligation to get vaccinated in order to keep patients safe — and those unwilling to do so should find other careers. 0:55 

Hastings Prince Edward 

There are regular clinics in Bancroft, Belleville and Picton. It lists community clinics on its website.

About 256,000 doses have been administered to this area’s residents. Another 5,200 or so doses have been given at CFB Trenton.

Eighty-nine per cent of the local population 12 and older has now had a first dose. Eighty-two per cent are fully vaccinated.

When ready, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte say their clinic for kids age five to 11 will operate out of the Mohawk Community Centre.

Renfrew County

The health unit regularly shares pop-up and walk-in clinic information online. There are clinics in Arnprior and Deep River Thursday.

With a population of about 109,000, Renfrew County has distributed about 154,000 doses as of its last update Oct. 12.

About 87 per cent of its eligible population, including military at Garrison Petawawa, have at least a first dose and about 83 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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