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COVID-19 in B.C.: Province seeks to protect hospitals from protests; almost 775 new cases; 40 flights; and more – The Georgia Straight



The new case count remained at a high level today.

Although active cases continue to rise in number, active cases decreased in Interior and Vancouver Coastal Health, and remained level in Island Health.

When B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix held a news teleconference today (September 9) to address a range of health issues in the province, including surgeries and wait lists, he answered several questions about COVID-19.


When B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix was asked about potential upcoming protests planned to be held at hospitals, Dix said that the province is considering all options to address concerns.

While Dix acknowledged that “there is an absolute right of dissent in our country—you’re allowed to express your view”, he said that there are places to demonstrate other than public hospitals.

Of particular concern about recent protests held at hospitals after the B.C. Vaccine Card announcement, he denounced (as examples) those yelling at healthcare workers and interfering with cancer and heart patients, grieving families, and people needing to access emergency rooms.  

“We’re looking at all of the steps that need to be taken to ensure healthcare workers are safe and to ensure patients are safe,” Dix said.

Today, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 774 new COVID-19 cases (including three epi-linked cases).

Active cases resumed rising in number again today—with 44 more cases than yesterday, there are now 5,594 active cases.

Hospitalized cases remained around the same level as yesterday. With one more case today than yesterday, there are now 262 individuals are in hospital, and 130 of those patients are in intensive care units (ICU), which is one more person than yesterday.

Dix stated that of the ICU cases, there are 111 of those patients are unvaccinated (85 percent), 10 are partially vaccinated (eight percent), and nine are fully vaccinated (seven percent). He added that none of the patients in ICU who are under 50 years of age are fully vaccinated.

He said that the unvaccinated ICU patients include:

  • seven people in their 20s;
  • 13 people in their 30s;
  • 12 people in their 40s;
  • 32 people in their 50s;
  • 25 people in their 60s.

The new and active cases include:

  • 253 new cases in Interior Health, with 1,747 total active cases (46 fewer cases than yesterday);
  • 233 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,669 total active cases (68 more cases than yesterday);
  • 123 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 926 total active cases (13 fewer cases);
  • 98 new cases in Northern Health, with 752 total active cases (31 more cases);
  • 65 new cases in Island Health, with 487 total active cases (two more cases);
  • two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 13 total active cases (two more cases).

Tragically, there are five new deaths, including three people in Fraser Health, one person in Northern Health, and one person in Island Health. The overall total number of fatalities is now at 1,847 people who have died of COVID-19-related reasons.

With 677 recoveries since yesterday, an overall total of 164,470 people who tested positive have now recovered.

During the pandemic, B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 172,338 COVID-19 cases.

Since December, B.C. has administered 7,570,924 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

As of today, 85.3 percent (3,955,624) of eligible people 12 and older have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 77.8 percent (3,608,067) received their second dose.

In addition, 85.9 percent (3,716,975) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 78.8 percent (3,406,522) have received their second dose.

The B.C. Health Ministry stated that, after factoring for age, people who are unvaccinated are 34 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.

From September 1 to 7, people who aren’t fully vaccinated made up 78.6 percent of COVID-19 cases, and from August 25 to September 7, they represented 86.3 percent of hospitalizations.

Out of a total of 4,694 cases from September 1 to 7, there were:

  • 3,296 unvaccinated people (70.2 percent);
  • 393 partially vaccinated people (8.4 percent);
  • 1,005 fully vaccinated people (21.4 percent).

Out of a total of 344 hospitalized cases from August 25 to September 7, there were:

  • 277 unvaccinated people (80.5 percent);
  • 20 partially vaccinated people (5.8 percent);
  • 47 fully vaccinated people (13.7 percent).

From September 1 to 7, for cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age, there were:

  • 301.4 unvaccinated people;
  • 84.8 partially vaccinated people;
  • 26 fully vaccinated people.

From August 25 to September 7, for cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age, there were:

  • 37.1 unvaccinated people;
  • 6.8 partially vaccinated people;
  • 1.1 fully vaccinated people.
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
Province of British Columbia

None of the five regional health authorities have declared any new healthcare or community outbreaks, and haven’t listed any business closures or public exposure events.

Northern Health provided an update on the outbreak at the inpatient unit at Fort St. John Hospital, which was declared on August 28. As of today, a total of seven people have tested positive (four patients and three staff members). Two patients have recovered but, sadly, one patient has died.   

Currently, there are 22 active outbreaks in healthcare facilities, including:

  • longterm care: Northcrest Care Centre, Menno Home (Fraser Health); Arbutus Care Centre, Brock Fahrni, and Louis Brier Home and Hospital (Vancouver Coastal Health); Village at Mill Creek, Cottonwoods Care Centre, Brookhaven Care Centre, Spring Valley Care Centre, Kamloops Seniors Village, Hillside Village, The Hamlets at Westsyde, and Joseph Creek Care Village (Interior Health); Sunset Lodge (Island Health); and Jubilee Lodge (Northern Health);
  • acute care: Chilliwack General Hospital (Fraser Health); and Fort St. John Hospital (Northern Health);
  • assisted or independent living: Nicola Meadows, David Lloyd Jones, Sun Pointe Village, Hardy View Lodge, and Rose Woods Village (Interior Health).

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has added the following 40 flights to its lists of potential public exposures:

  • August 23: WestJet 302, Vancouver to Regina;
  • August 25: WestJet 118, Vancouver to Calgary;
  • August 26: WestJet 100, Vancouver to Calgary;
  • August 26: WestJet 3260, Victoria to Kelowna;
  • August 27: Air Canada/Jazz 8548, Vancouver to Winnipeg;
  • August 28: Air France Flight 74, Paris to Vancouver;
  • August 29: Air Canada/Jazz 8066, Victoria to Vancouver;
  • August 29: Air Canada/Jazz 8572, Vancouver to Regina;
  • August 29: Alaska Airlines 2206, Seattle to Vancouver;
  • August 29: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
  • August 29: WestJet 3293, Calgary to Kelowna;
  • August 30: Flair 711, Vancouver to Prince George;
  • August 30: WestJet 3026, Nanaimo to Vancouver;
  • August 30: WestJet 3125, Edmonton to Kelowna;
  • August 30: WestJet 3181, Edmonton to Kelowna;
  • August 30: WestJet 3330, Vancouver to Kelowna;
  • August 31: Air Canada 997, Mexico City to Vancouver;
  • August 31: Air Canada/Jazz 8061, Vancouver to Victoria;
  • August 31: Air Canada/Jazz 8200, Prince George to Vancouver;
  • August 31: Harbour Air 1129, Vancouver to Nanaimo;
  • August 31: KLM 681, Amsterdam to Vancouver;
  • August 31: WestJet 135, Calgary to Vancouver;
  • September 1: Air Canada 184, Vancouver to Toronto;
  • September 1: Air Canada 553, Los Angeles to Vancouver;
  • September 1: Harbour Air 1130, Nanaimo to Vancouver;
  • September 1: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
  • September 1: WestJet 712, Vancouver to Toronto;
  • September 1: WestJet 3057, Vancouver to Nanaimo;
  • September 1: WestJet 3309, Kelowna to Vancouver;
  • September 2: Air Canada 563, San Francisco to Vancouver;
  • September 2: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
  • September 2: Philippine Airlines 116, Manila to Vancouver;
  • September 2: Swoop 109, Hamilton to Abbotsford;
  • September 2: Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver;
  • September 2: Air Canada 861, London to Vancouver;
  • September 3: WestJet 127, Calgary to Vancouver;
  • September 4: WestJet 723, Toronto to Vancouver;
  • September 5: Air Canada 129, Toronto to Vancouver;
  • September 5: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
  • September 6: American Airlines 1415, Dallas to Vancouver.

Sobeys listed two Safeway locations which had staff member who tested positive:

  • at 11200–11216 8th Street in Dawson Creek, where one employee who tested positive last worked on September 2;
  • at 700–15355 24th Avenue in Surrey, where an employee who tested positive last worked on September 6.


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The Key Role of Trustworthy Babysitters in Balancing Work and Family Life




Are you a busy parent in constant pursuit of the elusive work-life balance? We know firsthand how overwhelming and challenging it can be to juggle professional commitments while still having quality time with your children.

That’s why we’re here to discuss an essential ingredient that unlocks the secret to harmony: trustworthy babysitters.

What Characteristics Parents Should Look for When Choosing a Babysitter?

Parents should look for a few key characteristics when choosing a babysitter. A good babysitter should be patient, responsible, and reliable. They should also be comfortable with children and have prior experience caring for them.

Besides, the babysitter must be able to communicate effectively and follow directions well. The babysitter should be someone the parents can trust to care for their children in their absence.


Strategies for Parents to Establish Reasonable Anticipations

As a parent, finding babysitters you can trust to care for your children is vital. However, it is also important to establish reasonable expectations for your babysitters.

Some tips for establishing reasonable expectations for babysitters include:

  1. Set clear expectations: Sit down with your babysitter to discuss bedtime routines, dietary preferences, and any necessary medications.
  2. Allow flexibility: While clarity is vital, also provide room for your babysitter to use their judgment and feel comfortable in their role.
  3. Trust their expertise: Once expectations are set, trust your babysitter’s judgment as a professional caregiver to avoid undermining their authority and creating discomfort in their role.

Determining a Fair Payment Plan

Determine your babysitting budget, factoring in your income and family size, while researching local rates. Account for the babysitter’s experience and qualifications, giving preference to those recommended by trusted sources.

Engage in open negotiations with your chosen babysitter. This aims to find a mutually agreeable arrangement that accommodates both your budget and their needs.

Tips on Finding Trustworthy and Compassionate Caregivers

When seeking a caregiver for your child, to ensure you find the right fit:

  • Seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, and neighbours who may have suggestions for caregivers in your area.
  • Conduct online research to review feedback and check references to gauge candidates’ qualifications and experience.
  • Request references and contact details from the caregivers’ previous employers or families they have worked with.
  • Trust your instincts and ensure you feel at ease with the caregiver, ensuring they are someone you can entrust with your child’s well-being.


Being able to trust your babysitter means you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe and cared for.

Spending some time researching online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations will help you find the perfect fit so you can feel more at ease while juggling work commitments in today’s hectic world.

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Facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home



THUNDER BAY — St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home, part of the St. Joseph’s Heritage complex on Carrie Street near Red River Road.

The respiratory outbreak at the 112-bed facility was declared effective Sept. 15 but only announced publicly on Monday.

No details were provided with regard to the number of people affected to date.

Restrictions are now in place for admissions, transfers, discharges, social activities and visitation until further notice.




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Alberta COVID hospitalizations up 73% since July: health minister



Three weeks after the start of the school year, Alberta’s health minister provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province.

Adriana LaGrange also said more information about flu and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will soon be released.

“Now that we will be spending more time indoors, we need to make doubly sure we are following proper hygiene protocols like handwashing and staying home when sick,” LaGrange said. “It also means respecting those who choose to wear a mask.”


Global News previously reported that influenza vaccines will be available on Oct. 16 with the new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant likely to be available at around the same time. On Sept. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna vaccine.

“More information on immunizations against respiratory viruses including influenza and COVID-19 will be available shortly,” the health minister said.

LaGrange said there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since Aug. 28.

“This is consistent activity for this time of the year,” the health minister said in a statement.

The end of August or the beginning of September has typically marked the beginning of flu season for provincial health authorities.

LaGrange also provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province.

From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there were a total 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions, bringing the total to 417 in hospital and seven in ICU, a 73 per cent increase of COVID hospitalizations from the last reported info.

On July 24 – the last update to the province’s COVID data dashboard – there were only 242 in hospital.

“Sadly, five Albertans died during that period due to COVID-19,” LaGrange said.

LaGrange said the reporting dashboard is being refreshed to include RSV, influenza and COVID-19 data, work that was originally expected to be completed on Aug. 30. The latest data on the province’s influenza statistics dashboard is dated July 22.

“This work is currently underway and will be available in the coming weeks,” LaGrange said.

She said data for the dates between July 24 and Aug. 27 will be available when the new dashboard goes online.

Amid more hospitals continent-wide reinstating masking requirements in the face of increased hospitalizations, the health minister made no mention of any such moves for Alberta hospitals. Acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta jumped from Sept. 5 to 12, with 146 per cent more healthcare workers and 55 per cent more patients testing positive for COVID.

LaGrange stressed the “collective responsibility” to prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID and influenza.

“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the anxiety that comes with sending your children back to school. I want to reassure you that Alberta’s government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans top of mind,” the health minister said.

–with files from Meghan Cobb, Global News



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