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COVID-19 update for Nov. 17: Here's the latest on coronavirus in B.C. – Peace River Record Gazette

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The latest case numbers, exposure alerts and guidelines: Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C.

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 17, 2020.

Handout via REUTERS

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 17, 2020.

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 Nov. 16:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 22,944 (6,279 active)
• New cases since Nov. 13: 1,959
• Hospitalized cases: 181
• Intensive care: 57
• COVID-19 related deaths: 299 (9 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 10,928
• Recovered: 16,087
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 52

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


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.

6 a.m. – Growing number of Canadians plan to get vaccinated for COVID-19

A new poll suggests the proportion of Canadians planning to get vaccinated for COVID-19 is on the rise after encouraging initial results from Pfizer’s vaccine trial.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents said they plan to get inoculated against the novel coronavirus once Health Canada approves a vaccine that is broadly available and free, according to a survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies.

The number is a jump from the 63 per cent who said they would take up such an offer one month ago, and a return to levels of vaccine enthusiasm reported in a similar poll in July.

Nonetheless, 22 per cent of respondents said they did not intend to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine in particular if it were ready in the spring, despite early results that suggest a 90 per cent efficiency rate. Another 22 per cent said they did not know.

The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – Dr. Bonnie Henry: Masks are one of the important layers to protect yourself, your community

Some people are asking when we will see masks mandated in B.C. The answer is that they already are.

The mandate to use masks appropriately is a cornerstone of businesses’ and organizations’ COVID-19 safety plans, and is embedded in our health care facilities’ operational policies and restart protocols in other public institutions.

12 a.m. – 1,959 new cases, 9 additional deathsThere have been 1,959 cases of COVID-19 reported over the past three days and nine deaths, as B.C.’s pandemic crisis deepens. Of those cases, almost 70 per cent were within the Fraser Health region.

“We are in the most challenging of times,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Monday. “The virus is not stopping.”

Henry said there were now 6,279 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., with 181 of those cases in hospital including 57 in intensive care.

There have been 22,944 cases reported since the first COVID-sick person appeared in Metro Vancouver in late January after a business trip to Wuhan, China. Henry said 10,928 people are in isolation after being potentially exposed to the disease.

There have been 299 COVID-19 deaths so far, and 16,087 people have recovered.

12 a.m. – Vancouver pitch & putt golf courses to stay open all winter

The Vancouver Park Board will be keeping its three pitch & putt golf courses open all winter to give the public a safe place to socially distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The courses at Stanley Park, Rupert Park and Queen Elizabeth Park will have new winter hours, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., that will take effect on Nov. 17.

The winter rates will be $10.17 (taxes included) for adults and $8 for seniors and youth.

12 a.m. – Second promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate announced as Canada approaches 300k casesNews of another promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate emerged Monday as Canada inched closer to the 300,000-case count, with the two hardest-hit provinces continuing to report more than 1,000 daily new infections and a sudden spike in Nunavut triggering a two-week lockdown.

Moderna’s announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5 per cent effective, according to preliminary data, comes a week after a similar announcement from Pfizer.

Both American companies are among those that have signed agreements with Canada, and have asked Health Canada to review their products.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he hoped a vaccine would roll out early next year, but warned a shot won’t provide an immediate solution to the second wave currently spurring a surge in cases across the country.

12 a.m. – Majority of parents approve of government’s handling of back-to-school

It appears the majority of parents are giving the B.C. government a passing grade on managing a return to school during a pandemic.

In a new survey released by Insights West this week, 58 per cent of British Columbians, both parents and non-parents, “support the government’s current approach,” up from a survey conducted just before the September return.

That group includes 21 per cent – up from 13 per cent in a September survey – who strongly support how back-to-school was handled, while those who “somewhat support” the return remains at 37 per cent. When looking at responses from just parents, the level of support jumps up to 70 per cent, which includes 27 per cent who “strongly support.”


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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

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



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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Nova Scotia’s Tree for Boston to be lit Thursday night – Global News

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Heather and Tony Sampson from Richmond County, donated this year’s 45-foot white spruce. The couple said the 2020 Tree for Boston is dedicated to those working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Nova Scotia’s Tree for Boston has arrived in the Boston Common and will be lit in a virtual ceremony on Thursday night.


Twitter / Nova Scotia Government

 Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in the release that Thursday’s celebration will be a reminder of the importance of working together.“As Boston helped Nova Scotia in 1917, the city and our residents must partner to keep each other safe and healthy from the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Nova Scotia for the Boston Common Christmas tree and I am grateful we are still able to celebrate the holiday season virtually,” Walsh said.


Click to play video 'From Nova Scotia with Love: Boston Brewery launches beer inspired by Tree for Boston'



6:13
From Nova Scotia with Love: Boston Brewery launches beer inspired by Tree for Boston


From Nova Scotia with Love: Boston Brewery launches beer inspired by Tree for Boston
 Thursday night’s ceremony was livestreamed at 8 p.m. AST on WCVB Channel 5, according to the province.It featured performances by the Barra MacNeils, and Sarah and Elizabeth MacInnis with Jenny MacKenzie as part of the Celtic Colours International Festival. 

Nova Scotia’s Tree for Boston lit up at the Boston Common in a virtual ceremony Thursday night.


Nova Scotia’s Tree for Boston lit up at the Boston Common in a virtual ceremony Thursday night.

 The province says other performers in the one-hour-long ceremony included Nicholas Christopher, Maestro Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, and multiple Grammy Award winner Shaggy.

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'Operation Immunize'; BC's COVID-19 vaccinations to begin in January – CHEK

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During a press conference today from B.C.’s health officials, Dr. Bonnie Henry provided a little more insight into the province’s strategy for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine

Her vaccine information comes after an additional 12 deaths in British Columbia were announced – all occurring in long-term care facilities.

Dr. Henry, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, talked about the arrival of a vaccine and says there will be more details next week regarding “Operation Immunize.”

“We know that we will have limited amounts at first. So we won’t be able to broadly achieve what we’ve been calling community immunity, or herd immunity right off the bat, but that will come,” Dr. Henry said during today’s conference.

The first to receive the vaccine in January will be seniors, targeting those in long-term care facilities, and also vaccinating people most at risk from severe illness, and potentially dying as a result of contracting the disease, according to the provincial health officer.

“Our first priority will be to make sure that we are protecting those who are most at risk. We know that is the seniors and elders in our communities and long-term care homes. particularly and in hospitals here in British Columbia,” Dr. Henry said.

For the rest of British Columbia, however, the timeline will be much longer.

Dr. Henry is predicting that most residents have received the vaccine by September 2021.

“Once we have more vaccine available, we will be making it available to all of us here in BC.  And that is when we can get to that point of managing and controlling this pandemic,” she noted

Dr. Henry says supplies will be limited at first when the vaccine arrives in Canada, but the priority is to protect those most at risk.

READ MORE: B.C. reports 694 new cases of COVID-19, 10 new in Island Health as daily deaths stay high

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Indoors or out, Dr. Henry shuts down sports games – Times Colonist

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“It will be an early ­Christmas break for our players,” ­Vancouver Island Soccer League executive director Vince Greco said Thursday after hearing the news adult and youth sports games on the Island — indoor or outdoor — are shut down due to the pandemic. Youth sports can still practice and train on a ­limited basis.

“There is a lot of work to be done in making up a new ­schedule with new cohorts. We are starting from scratch,” added Greco of the largest adult league on the Island. “We are hopeful of a Jan. 8 return.”

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the order is for the “next few weeks.” She added that sport and physical activity accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of COVID-19 transmissions in B.C. and that may be an underestimate.

Henry announced Wednesday that all indoor adult team sports were prohibited. Further orders Thursday included outdoor sports.

Bringing people together is what sport does best and is its greatest attribute and appeal. The pandemic has, ironically, turned that into sport’s greatest detriment.

“When people come together is when this virus can spread,” said Henry, during her briefing Thursday.

“A lot of adult sports are really very much social gatherings as well as sport. Those types of gatherings are leading to transmission events. We’ve seen it in a number of adult team sports. We need to step back from those. It’s the locker-room. It’s the before, it’s the after, and the going out for coffee or beer after a game that has been the most source of transmission. It’s difficult because much of that is built into the culture of adult team sports. So let’s focus on our children. Supervised sports for young people have not been a source of the same type of risk and transmission.” Island sports organizations have reacted to the new orders.

The Victoria Minor Hockey Association, emerging from a voluntary two-week shutdown with the other 16 minor hockey associations on the Island, had just sent out its new schedule to parents and players on Tuesday. But those re-scheduled games, set to begin this weekend, are now cancelled because of the new orders. Practices are still allowed for youth sports but they have gone back to individually distanced skills and drills.

“We will be hosting a skills competition so at least we can get something competitive in,” said Nicki Reich, president of the Victoria Minor Hockey ­Association.

Juan de Fuca Minor Soccer Association president Kevin Allen informed his members by Facebook on Thursday: “Due to the just announced updated provincial health order … all games are now cancelled until further notice. As we are to move back to Phase 1, non-contact, social distanced soccer. We are hopeful that we will be able to get back on the field in the new year, but only time will tell. Hopefully, better days are ahead.”

With the vaccines coming, Henry touched on those better days.

“It may feel like it but it’s not forever. It will change,” she said.

“We will get back to having games and back to travel and playing against people from other communities. But right now we’re still having challenges. It’s not so much the kids on the field. It’s the away from the field of play. We’ve looked at not having travel and no spectators to reduce those ­probabilities. But we’re finding it’s still a challenge.”

There is a separate high-performance model that pertains to the guidelines, which includes exemptions for athletes training on the Island, Richmond and Whistler for next summer’s delayed Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

It is not clear, however, how this affects other higher-performance sports. University of Victoria Vikes, Camosun College Chargers and Vancouver Island University Mariners team sports have already been cancelled for the season. But the B.C. Hockey League, with five teams in the Island Division, is scheduled to open the regular season Dec. 8 and the Victoria Royals of the WHL on Jan. 8.

The governor of a BCHL Island Division team, who did not want to be identified, said it is highly doubtful the league will begin the season as planned Dec. 8.

BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb could not be reached for comment.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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