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COVID-19 update for Feb. 24: Outbreak spreads at VGH | 559 new cases, one death – Vancouver Sun

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Feb. 24, 2021.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Feb. 23

• Total number of confirmed cases: 77,822 (4,677 active)
• New cases since Feb. 22: 559
• Total deaths: 1,336 (1 new)
• Hospitalized cases: 238
• Intensive care: 69
• Total vaccinations: 224,350 doses, of which 58,896 are second doses.
• Cases under public health monitoring: 7,881
• Recovered: 71,753
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 17

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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

8 a.m. – Richmond karaoke bar has license suspended for defying health orders

The city of Richmond has suspended the license of an upscale karaoke bar for continuing to defy COVID-19 public health orders.

On Feb. 13, the Richmond RCMP attended the Deco Nova Lounge and Eatery, located at 3300-4000 No. 3 Road.

Authorities issued 35 tickets to the business owner and patrons at that time for non-compliance with health orders in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The city had already warned this business before the Mounties showed up that it wasn’t in compliance, said Clay Adams, a spokesperson for the city of Richmond, on Wednesday morning.

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Adams said due to continued non-compliance and this most recent incident, the city has suspended the business’ operating licence for two weeks effective immediately.

5 a.m. – COVID 19 outbreak spreads at Vancouver hospital, affecting 16 patients, 13 staff

Two more units have been added to a COVID-19 outbreak declared at Vancouver General Hospital.

A statement from Vancouver Coastal Health says outbreaks are underway on inpatient units T-14-G and T-11-G in the highrise tower of the hospital’s Jim Pattison Pavilion.

The health authority says the outbreaks are in addition to one declared Sunday in unit T-10-C in the same tower.

The statement says, in total, 16 patients and 13 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

Visits to all three units have been suspended, except for end-of-life compassionate visits, and the hospital says infection prevention and control protocols are underway to prevent further transmission.

Coastal Health says the rest of the hospital, including the emergency room, remain open and operating as usual.

-The Canadian Press

5 a.m. – People on income assistance in B.C. will now automatically receive COVID recovery benefit

People on income assistance will automatically receive the B.C. recovery benefit instead of having to apply, a course reversal by the NDP government which critics say comes months too late.

This month, the benefit will automatically be paid to people on income, disability or hardship assistance and those receiving the senior’s supplement as long as they were receiving assistance in December 2020 or January 2021, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction said in a letter to Disability Alliance B.C.

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Helaine Boyd, co-executive director of Disability Alliance B.C., said advocacy groups had been calling for the change for months as people on income assistance faced barriers around providing 2019 tax returns or bank account information.

Boyd said she’s glad money will now flow to people who were desperately waiting for it. “But there wasn’t prior warning and it came in two months after the fact,” she said. “It will probably cause confusion among clients.”

12 a.m. – B.C. reports 559 new cases, one death

British Columbia reported 559 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

There have been 77,822 confirmed cases in the province since the start of the pandemic.

One death was reported on Tuesday as the province’s death toll from the disease reached 1,336.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said none of the new cases occurred in long-term care facilities, which she says proves the effectiveness of the vaccines.

Residents and staff at long-term care facilities were the first to be vaccinated in the province.


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

– With files from The Canadian Press

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Moderna says waiving IP rights won’t help increase vaccine supply

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Moderna Inc said on Thursday that waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines will not help boost supply in 2021 or 2022, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden backed a proposed waiver that is aimed at giving poorer companies access.

 

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Canada allows Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-15

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(Corrects headline and lead to make clear that Canada was not the first nation as stated by Canadian officials, adds context from Pfizer in fourth paragraph)

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) –Canada is authorizing the use of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15, the first doses to be allowed in the country for people that young, the federal health ministry said on Wednesday.

Supriya Sharma, a senior adviser at the Canadian federal health ministry, said the Pfizer vaccine, produced with German partner BioNTech SE, was safe and effective in the younger age group.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she told reporters.

Sharma and a health ministry spokesman said Canada was the first country to grant such an approval, but a Canadian representative for Pfizer later said Algeria permitted use of the vaccine for this age group in April. The Canadian health ministry said it had no information about the discrepancy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to take a similar step “very soon,” U.S. health officials said.

Separately, authorities reported the third death of a Canadian from a rare blood clot condition after receiving AstraZeneca PLC’s’s COVID-19 vaccine. The man, who was in his sixties, lived in the Atlantic province of New Brunswick.

Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health in New Brunswick, said the province would continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine. Alberta reported a death from clotting on Tuesday and Quebec announced one on April 27.

“There will be rare cases where thrombosis will occur. However, the risks remain minimal compared to the risks, complications and potential consequences of COVID-19,” Russell told reporters.

Canada‘s federal government has bought tens of millions of doses of vaccines but critics complain the pace of inoculation is lagging due to bottlenecks in the 10 provinces, which are responsible for administering the doses.

Alberta will become the first province to offer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone aged 12 and over from May 10, Premier Jason Kenney said on Wednesday, a day after he introduced tighter public health measures to combat a third wave of the pandemic.

Alberta, home to Canada‘s oil patch, has the highest rate per capita of COVID-19 in the country, with nearly 24,000 active cases and 150 people in intensive care.

Around 20% of the 1,249,950 cases of COVID-19 in Canada have been reported in people under the age of 19. Canada has recorded 24,396 deaths.

(Additional reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Nia Williams in Calgary;Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sonya Hepinstall)

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Younger people filling up COVID-19 intensive care

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By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA (Reuters) –COVID-19 infections continue to spread fast across the Americas as a result of relaxed prevention measures and intensive care units are filling up with younger people, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.

In Brazil, mortality rates have doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s and tripled for those in their 50s since December, Carissa Etienne said.

Hospitalization rates among those under 39 years have increased by more than 70% in Chile and in some areas of the United States more people in their 20s are now being hospitalized for COVID-19 than people in their 70s.

“Despite all we learned about this virus in a year, our control efforts are not as strict, and prevention is not as efficient,” Etienne said in a virtual briefing from Washington.

“We are seeing what happens when these measures are relaxed: COVID spreads, cases mount, our health systems become overwhelmed and people die,” she said.

Canada continues to report significant jumps in infections in highly populated provinces such as Ontario as well as in less populated territories of the North and Yukon, home to remote and indigenous communities, according to PAHO.

Puerto Rico and Cuba remain significant drivers of COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean, which is facing a new surge of the virus, PAHO directors said.

Cases are rapidly accelerating in the Guyanas and across Argentina and Colombia, where weekly case counts are five times higher today than they were this time last year and hospitals are reaching capacity in large Colombian cities.

In Central America, Guatemala is seeing significant spikes in cases and Costa Rica is reporting record-high infections.

While vaccines are being rolled out as fast as possible, they are not a short-term solution because they are in short supply, said Etienne, the World Health Organization’s regional director.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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