Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for July 5, 2021.
Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for July 5, 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.
• New cases since June 30: 84
• Total deaths: 1,756 (two new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 99
• Intensive care: 30
• Total vaccinations: 5,124,693 doses administered; 1,526,711 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 145,200
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 8
3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.
B.C. health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.
9:45 a.m. – Three B.C. flights flagged for COVID-19 exposure
The B.C. Centre of Disease Control has listed three more recent flights that have been flagged for potential COVID-19 exposure.
The affected flights were:
Those who were on board a domestic flight with a confirmed case are not required to self-isolate but must monitor closely for possible symptoms.
For row information, visit the BCCDC’s full listing of all exposure flights here.
6:30 a.m. – Canada to receive 3.7 million more COVID-19 doses this week
The federal government is expecting to receive 3.7 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, bringing the total of COVID-19 vaccine deliveries above 53.7 million doses.
The new deliveries will include about 900,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 2.8 million doses of Moderna vaccine.
Those shipments will push Canada’s total vaccine deliveries above 53.7 million doses, enough to administer two shots to more than 75 per cent of eligible residents.
With 18 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines expected to arrive in Canada in July, the country will have enough doses to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the ranks of the fully vaccinated on Friday. He received a shot of the Moderna vaccine at an Ottawa clinic. His wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, got her second dose on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after getting his shot, Trudeau said he feels “safer and quite optimistic about the summer.”
He said close to 80 per cent of eligible Canadians have already received their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 35 per cent have received two doses.
Trudeau said more than 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to Canada and the government expects to receive a total of 68 million by the end of the month.
“We are well on the way to a good summer and an even better fall,” he said.
“That said, we are not out of the woods yet.”
– The Canadian Press
6:30 a.m. – Johnson tells Britons to use judgment when COVID restrictions lift
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging Britons to “exercise judgment” to protect themselves from COVID-19 as the government prepares for the final unlocking of the economy in two weeks.
The prime minister will use a press conference on Monday to say that the country must learn to live with the disease, as it does with influenza. He is expected to confirm that people will no longer be forced to wear facial coverings as he sets out the final stage of his roadmap out of lockdown for England ahead of a formal announcement next week.
The move marks a decisive shift toward handing responsibility to citizens to manage the risks after 16 months of unprecedented government intervention to bring the virus under control. However, it risks sparking a backlash from scientists who say removing virtually all restrictions when millions of people are not fully immunized could prove devastating.
The U.K. is in a race to vaccinate the population against the fast-spreading delta variant quickly enough to be able to lift social-distancing curbs and reopen more businesses on July 19. Almost 64 per cent of U.K. adults have now had two doses of a vaccine.
Ministers are optimistic, noting that a recent surge in infections to their highest level since January has not led to commensurately more hospitalizations and deaths. On Sunday, the U.K. reported 24,248 more Covid-19 cases and 15 more deaths.
With a trying school year having wrapped up, four in five B.C. teachers who volunteered for a survey say their mental health declined during the pandemic, according to a UBC study.
“The pandemic-related school disruptions and the need to adapt to new regulations and guidelines are unprecedented,” the study stated.
One elementary school teacher with 10 years experience said they had never felt so “discouraged, unappreciated and deflated, while at the same time burned out.”
“Our goal was to understand how B.C. teachers were doing during the pandemic and the potential impact the pandemic may have had on their mental health, but also on their teaching experiences,” said lead author Anne Gadermann, an assistant professor at UBC’s school of population and public health.
The study, carried out in conjunction with the B.C. Teachers Federation and the B.C. Ministry of Education, canvassed 1,206 teachers around the province in February, surveying their teaching experience and well-being after 11 months of COVID-19 restrictions.
— Gordon McIntyre
he federal government wants to see 75 per cent of Canada’s population immunized against COVID-19 with two doses before lifting international travel restrictions and opening the border.
It’s a threshold that will be tough to meet, particularly in Alberta, where nearly a quarter of people eligible for a shot still haven’t received a dose, said University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe.
Having 75 per cent of Canadians fully immunized means 86 per cent of those aged 12 and over who are eligible for a shot will need to get their jabs, Tombe said.
“Eighty-six per cent of eligible individuals is perhaps at the higher end of what polls suggest is possible,” Tombe said.
“It’s going to take a little bit more work to change some views that are out there … It’s certainly possible, but it’s going to be a heavy lift for governments.”
The federal government has discussed a 75 per cent threshold in recent months, but formalized it in mid-June.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says it recognizes mandatory quarantine and testing protocols “place significant burdens” on Canadians and the country’s economy, but that these measures remain the most effective way to prevent new cases and variants of concern from entering the country.
– Calgary Herald
12:45 p.m. – Fraser Health walk-in appointment for first dose at all clinics
Fraser Health is welcoming walk-in appointments at any of their COVID-19 vaccination clinics to anyone 12 years and older needing first-dose immunizations
“All Fraser Health residents are welcome, including those without personal health numbers, vulnerable people and/or people who are not residents of B.C.,” the health authority said in a statement.
A list of the ongoing clinics is available at fraserhealth.ca.
B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES
Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:
Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.
–with files from The Canadian Press
Interior Health will hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in downtown Kelowna for the next several days.
In conjunction with the Downtown Kelowna Association, the clinic will be held in the lobby of the Kelowna Yacht Club beginning Friday.
The pop-up clinic will be held from 3 p.m. to 7p.m. for five consecutive days, and will be re-evaluated after that time to determine whether it will continue.
Anyone who has not yet received a first vaccination, or those 28 days past their first shot in welcome to drop in. No appointments are necessary.
Access to the clinic is from the boardwalk entrance.
There have been calls for a downtown clinic as positive COVID-19 cases swell in the Central Okanagan.
Interior Health declared an outbreak in the Central Okanagan Wednesday after it was revealed 240 positive cases had been recorded over the past seven days.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry brought back a mask mandate for the region from Peachland to Lake Country, making the wearing of masks mandatory indoors.
That mandate is expected to run for at least 14 days.
CALGARY — Alberta’s health minister says it was the idea of the province’s chief medical health officer to end isolation requirements for those who test positive for COVID-19 or who have been in close contact with someone who has.
Tyler Shandro said Dr. Deena Hinshaw came to the government with the plan. He said the government agreed with science and data supporting it and wanted to respect the independence of her position.
“It came from Dr. Hinshaw,” Shandro said Thursday when asked about the province’s strategy. “This is work that was developed by those who are in public health.”
He acknowledged concerns about moving forward so quickly. “We have many different opinions in the medical community and that’s to be expected and that’s encouraged.”
He also said that while Alberta is alone in Canada in the approach, others will eventually follow suit.
“We are leading the way in moving to the endemic (phase of the COVID-19) response. We’ve led the way throughout in the response to the pandemic quite frankly.”
Hinshaw has always said she presents scientific evidence, numbers and trends, but the final decision on how to respond to pandemic developments lies with the government.
Close contacts of positive cases are no longer notified of exposure by contact tracers, nor are they required to isolate. The government has also ended asymptomatic testing.
As of Aug. 16, individuals who test positive won’t be legally required to isolate either — although it will still be recommended. Isolation hotels will close and quarantine supports will end.
Reaction to Hinshaw’s announcement Wednesday was swift and critical — much of it on Twitter. Opposition politicians, the medical community and private citizens all weighed in.
On Thursday, Dr. Daniel Gregson, an infectious disease specialist with the University of Calgary, said the government’s decision to end mandated isolation is irresponsible.
“The message we’re sending is that if you have an infection with COVID, or think you might have an infection with COVID, you can do whatever you want,” said Gregson. “I would not agree with that.”
He said a fourth wave is inevitable, primarily among young and healthy individuals. “We are going to see a bump in our hospitalizations. The question is how much?”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it’s inconceivable Alberta is eliminating almost all of its remaining COVID-19 public health orders as cases climb in the province.
“It is the height of insanity,” Nenshi said.
“It is putting the health of Albertans at risk to stop contact tracing, to stop testing people for the coronavirus and to become one of the first — if not the first — jurisdictions in the world to say that people who have tested positive, who are infectious, can just go about their lives.”
Nenshi said if he were in another jurisdiction he would contemplate travel restrictions on Albertans starting Aug. 16.
“I’m aware of no science that backs this up,” he said. “Even the most fervent of the anti-maskers wouldn’t say (to) unleash people who are actually infectious into the population.”
Nenshi said he worries the decision to lift the orders is politically motivated and has nothing to do with science.
Rida Abboud also questioned the province’s motives.
Abboud, who teaches at Calgary’s Mount Royal University and has a child starting kindergarten in the fall, said the United Conservatives are taking a gamble and the odds aren’t in their favour.
“I feel like I’m sending my child into the COVID Wild Wild West,” said Abboud. “It really feels like this government has no interest whatsoever in supporting families in … diminishing the risks to anyone under the age of 12 who can’t get vaccinated.”
She’s also worried about returning to the classroom come September. Abboud said poorly ventilated rooms and teaching an age cohort with lower vaccination rates is concerning, especially as it will be unknown who’s infected.
“This government likes to gamble on a lot of different approaches. They’ve lost in many ways and this is, I think, unfortunately, another one,” she said. “It’s just so shocking and saddening that it’s on the backs of parents and women, in particular.”
Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley urged the government to reverse course with necessary resources.
“This isn’t fair to Albertans. It’s not fair for them to be exposed and not know,” Notley said. “It’s also quite reasonable to keep asking Albertans who are infected to stay home until they are no longer contagious.”
She said the changes will do little to encourage uptake of vaccines.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.
— With files from Dean Bennett in Edmonton
Bill Graveland and Alanna Smith, The Canadian Press
Today’s total and new case numbers are provisional but they are concerning.
Both new and active cases continue to rise and hit new highs in recent weeks, with the bulk of both of them still in Interior Health—which continues to have more new and active cases than both Fraser and Vancovuer Coastal Health combined.
Meanwhile, like the last heat wave, some immunization clinics may be affected by the high temperatures and at least one is already being relocated.
According to the B.C. Health Ministry, the following numbers for total and new cases are provisional due to a delayed data refresh.
For now, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 204 new COVID-19 cases today.
Currently, there are 1,055 active cases, which is an increase of 146 cases since yesterday.
The new and active cases include:
At the moment, 51 individuals are in hospital (four more people than yesterday), and 20 of those patients are in intensive care units (same number as yesterday).
Thankfully, no new COVID-19-related deaths have been reported, which leaves the overall total at 1,771 people who have died during the pandemic.
With 54 recoveries since yesterday, a cumulative total of 146,810 people have now recovered.
During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 149,648 cases.
The forecast heat wave may cause some clinics to be relocated again, as they were during the previous heat wave in June.
In preparation for the expected high temperatures this weekend, Island Health announced today that it will move the Eagle Ridge immunization clinic to the air-conditioned Victoria Conference Centre (720 Douglas Street, Victoria) tomorrow (July 30).
Also tomorrow, Island Health will hold a pop-up clinic from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Starlight Stadium (1089 Langford Parkway) in Langford, during the game between Victoria’s Pacific FC and Calgary’s Cavalry FC.
Meanwhile, Fraser Health announced today that it has now administered over two million vaccine doses—80 percent of eligible people in the region have received at least one dose, and over 60 percent have received their second dose.
Consequently, as of tomorrow (July 29), Fraser Health is transitioning from a network of immunization clinics to establishing four main hubs at existing clinics at:
Immunization will also continue to be available at COVID-19 testing and immunization centres in Hope, Chilliwack, Mission, Langley, South Delta, South Surrey, Surrey 66, Coquitlam, and Burnaby. In addition, Fraser Health will continue to hold pop-up and mobile clinics, outreach clinics, and community initiatives (such as beachside clinics) to ensure easy access to immunizations.
The following clinics, however, will be closed on the dates listed below:
As part of its effort to increase vaccinations amid the recently declared outbreak in the Central Okanagan, Interior Health will hold pop-up immunization clinics from 3 to 7 p.m. from Friday (July 30) to Wednesday (August 4) at the Kelowna Yacht Club (1370 Water Street) in Kelowna, and vaccinations are available for eligible drop-in visitors.
In the ongoing provincial immunization program so far, B.C. has administered 6,732,309 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.
As of today, 81 percent (3,753,057) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose and 64.1 percent (2,971,793) have received their second dose.
In addition, 81.9 percent (3,543,503) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 66.8 percent (2,890,948) have received their second dose.
None of the five regional health authorities declared any new healthcare or community outbreaks, or listed any new business closures or public exposure events.
Currently, there are two active healthcare outbreaks, both in longterm care facilities: Holyrood Manor (Fraser Health) and Nelson Jubilee Manor (Interior Health).
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