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COVID-19: More younger people dying in B.C.'s pandemic – Vancouver Sun



Dr. Bonnie Henry said there had been three new deaths in people aged 30-39 over the past few weeks

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Three more people in their thirties have died of COVID-19 in B.C., two of them from the Cowichan Tribes outbreak on Vancouver Island.

On Thursday, the provincial health officer said COVID deaths were falling in long-term care homes, but rising among younger people.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said there had been three deaths in people aged 30-39 over the past few weeks. That adds to the four people in that age group who died in December, according to B.C. Centre for Disease Control data.

“We’ve seen hospitalizations in young people and we’ve seen, sadly and tragically, deaths in (three) young people in the last few weeks,” Henry said. “Some with underlying illnesses, and some who were Indigenous people and related to some of the outbreaks that we’re seeing.”

The Cowichan Tribes outbreak started in late December and there has been four deaths among hundreds of reported cases of COVID-19. The first death was in late January, followed by two deaths among young people reported between Feb. 8 and 16 and one death between Feb. 18 to 22.

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While those aged 80 to 89 have taken the deadly brunt of COVID-19, Henry said young people had suffered in other ways.

“I have said all along how struck I am by how challenging this pandemic has been for young people, especially for our teenagers and young adults, but also all the children who are seeing a strange new world,” Henry said.

There were 395 new cases of COVID-19 reported over the past day and 10 deaths.

Henry said 13 more cases of variants of concern had appeared, bringing that total to 116 in B.C., 95 of them the B117 type first identified in the U.K. No one with a detected variant case has died.

She said the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. was now driven mainly by workplace transmission.

Around 32,000 (or 40 per cent) of cases of COVID-19 in B.C. were transmitted in workplaces — including schools, daycares, ski resorts and food processing facilities, Henry said.

There had been an event at a pub that led to over 300 infections, including at a daycare, schools and a number of other workplaces.

This comes as the B.C. Teachers’ Federation released WorkSafeBC data showing in-school transmission claims for assistance were second in numbers only to claims from health-care workers.

The data showed that as of Feb. 19 there had been 123 claims made in the education sector with 1,781 made in the health sector. These sick claims go through WorkSafeBC because they were acquired at work.

There have been 110 claims made in the agricultural sector, 47 in hotel, restaurants and pubs and 38 made in retail operations.

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Henry said there were 4,489 active cases of the disease in B.C., of which 228 were being treated in hospital (including 62 in intensive care).

So far in B.C. 171,676 people have been vaccinated — including 68,157 who have been fully immunized with two doses. The province has administered 239,833 shots.

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Colonial Pipeline hackers stole data on Thursday



The hackers who caused Colonial Pipeline to shut down on Friday began their cyberattack against the top U.S. fuel pipeline operator a day earlier and stole a large amount of data, Bloomberg News reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The attackers are part of a cybercrime group called DarkSide and took nearly 100 gigabytes of data out of Colonial’s network in just two hours on Thursday, Bloomberg reported late Saturday, citing two people involved in the company’s investigation.

Colonial did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters seeking comment outside usual U.S. business hours.

Colonial Pipeline shut its entire network, the source of nearly half of the U.S. East Coast’s fuel supply, after a cyber attack that involved ransomware.


(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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TC Energy posts C$1 billion quarterly loss on Keystone XL suspension



By Nia Williams and Shariq Khan

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) -TC Energy Corp swung to a loss in the first quarter, hit by C$2.2 billion ($1.81 billion) impairment charges related to the suspension of its Keystone XL project, the Canadian pipeline operator said on Friday.

The KXL pipeline was planned to carry 830,000 barrels per day of heavy crude across the border from Alberta to Nebraska, but U.S. President Joe Biden revoked a key permit for the project on his first day in office.

TC Energy said the impairment charge was related to halting work on KXL and a reassessment of related projects like the Heartland Pipeline.

“We were very disappointed with the decision in January to revoke the presidential permit,” Chief Executive Francois Poirier said on an earnings call, adding the company was “opportunity-rich” in other parts of its business.

Calgary-based TC Energy owns the largest network of natural gas pipelines in North America as well as the existing Keystone oil pipeline and power and storage assets.

The company posted a C$2.51 billion loss from its oil pipelines, of which Keystone is the biggest contributor, compared with a C$411 million profit in the same period last year.

It reported net loss attributable to shareholders of C$1.1 billion, or C$1.11 per share, in the three months ended March 31 compared with a profit of C$1.1 billion a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned C$1.16 per share, slightly better than analysts’ average estimate of C$1.10, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

TC Energy shares closed up 0.2% on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$61.94.

($1 = 1.2176 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru and Nia Williams in Calgary; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Marguerita Choy)

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Lion Electric says it will build new plant in Illinois, create 750 jobs



By Tina Bellon

(Reuters) – Canadian electric vehicle company Lion Electric on Friday said it had selected Illinois as the location for its new U.S. manufacturing plant, promising to invest at least $70 million and create about 750 jobs over the next three years.

Lion, known for its electric yellow school buses, said it will build the 900,000 square foot facility in Joliet near Chicago to produce 20,000 electric buses and medium and heavy-duty trucks per year.

The company said it expected the facility to come online in the second half of 2022. Lion Chief Executive Marc Bedard said in an interview that while the Illinois factory would focus on vehicle manufacturing initially, the company might later add battery production. Lion is building a battery production facility in Canada.

Bedard said Lion is expanding in the United States when there is growing demand among school districts and companies to switch to electric transportation. Nearly 400 of the company’s electric school buses are on the road and Inc has said it will buy up to 2,500 trucks from Lion by 2025.

Lion’s expansion also coincides with a favorable regulatory environment under U.S. President Joe Biden, who has pushed for providing generous subsidies to the EV industry.

“We’re looking for regulatory tailwinds that will be favorable to electric,” Bedard said of his decision to build the factory in Illinois. State-funded tax credits for the plant were being negotiated, Lion said.

Lion on Friday also is expected to start trading publicly on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges following a merger with special purpose acquisition company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp in November.

The deal was valued at $1.9 billion and Lion received nearly $500 million in net cash proceeds, the majority of which it said it plans to invest in battery technology and the new U.S. plant.


(This story corrects to show that investment and job creation is over a three year, not two year period in first paragraph)


(Reporting by Tina Bellon in Austin, Texas; editing by Grant McCool)

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