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COVID-19 update for Oct. 19: 499 new cases, two additional deaths – Standard Freeholder



Here’s your daily BC COVID update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 19, 2020.

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 19, 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.


As of the latest figures given on Oct. 19:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 11,687 (1,639 active)
• New cases since Oct. 16: 499
• Hospitalized cases: 67
• Intensive care: 19
• COVID-19 related deaths: 253
• Cases under public health monitoring: 4,028
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 19

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


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


3 p.m. – B.C. records 499 new cases, two additional deaths

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, says the province recorded 499 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and two additional deaths from the respiratory disease.

“We are in the second wave of the COVID-19 storm in B.C. but we have control of what that wave looks like,” said Henry. “There continues to be COVID-19 transmission in many parts of our province and we know that this is expected. This virus has not gone away.”

Henry said she is encourage that B.C. is not seeing exponential growth, but, rather continued and ongoing growth.

“We do have more people in the hospital than we did a few weeks ago, but that has also stabilized,” she said. “We need, however, to make sure that we are doing what we can to avoid a steep and sudden increase in new cases that we have seen in other parts of Canada, in our neighbouring countries and around the world.”

12:45 p.m. – COVID-19 cases in Canada surpass 200,000

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Canada has passed 200,000.

The latest case numbers from Saskatchewan lifted the national tally over the bleak milestone.

The development comes just over four months after Canada reached the 100,000-case threshold.

The bulk of the country’s case load has been concentrated in Ontario and Quebec, though numbers have been surging in much of the country in recent weeks as Canada deals with a second wave of the global pandemic.

The Canadian Press

10:20 a.m. – More B.C. flight exposures added

A number of flights either departing from or arriving in B.C. have been added to a COVID-19 exposure list.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added a number of new flights to its exposure watchlist over the weekend including both domestic and international flights.

10 a.m. – Exposure alert at No Frills grocery store in Langley

Loblaws Canada is reporting a possible COVID-19 exposure threat at a No Frills grocery store in Langley.

The company says a staff member at Michael’s No Frills, at 204th Street, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff member last worked at the store on Oct. 12.

Loblaws says all safety precautions have been followed and the store has reopened following a deep clean.

8:30 a.m. – B.C. ski resorts face winter without international cash cows

As B.C.’s world-class ski resorts brace of a winter without international tourists due to closed borders, many are betting that locals eager to get onto the slopes will help make up for the lost revenues for the resorts.

Canada closed its borders since March to all but immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We are desperately trying to make that up with domestic booking,” said Michael Ballingall, senior vice president of Big White Ski Resort, located around 450 km (280 miles) east of Vancouver. The resort plans to roll out flight deals and discounts on long-term stays to attract Canadians.

Although international visitors represent just 21% of reservations, they contribute 32% of revenue, Ballingall said, underscoring how the different spending patterns of domestic visitors won’t necessarily bridge the budget gap – Canadians take fewer lessons, buy little or no equipment and eat out less frequently.

Meanwhile, Tourism Whistler declined to say how much accommodation bookings dropped this year, but said that in a normal year 60% of Whistler’s visitors were international.


8:15 a.m. – Companies have modest hiring plans, low wage growth expectations, Bank of Canada says

The Bank of Canada says companies are hedging hiring plans and wage growth expectations in the coming months over heightened uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The central bank’s business outlook survey finds hiring intentions remain below their historical averages, suggesting modest hiring plans even as the overall outlook on employment edges up.

Almost one-third of businesses told the bank they expect their workforce numbers to remain below pre-pandemic levels for at least the next 12 months, or to never fully recover.

The survey also finds that wage growth is widely expected to slow over the next year, mostly a result of the pandemic and ongoing uncertainty, with some firms reporting a wage freeze.

The bank also says that nearly half of firms surveyed used the federal wage subsidy program to avoid layoffs or quickly refill positions.

About 100 firms took part in the bank’s regular survey out this morning, but did so between late August and mid-September when COVID-19 case counts were still low.

The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – School exposures grow in B.C., beef plant reports outbreak

School exposures to COVID-19 piled up in B.C. over the weekend, with additional outbreaks reported at a Surrey meat processing plant and care homes in Surrey and Langley.

On Sunday, the principal of Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver told parents that there had been another exposure at the school — within the attached North Shore Child Care Centre — and that the centre would close for two weeks, effective Monday.

12 a.m. – Health Canada calls on British Columbians to download COVID Alert app

Health Canada is asking British Columbians to download its COVID Alert app, despite the provincial government not yet agreeing to support the technology.

Health Canada told Postmedia News that the app could still be of use, despite it not being adopted in B.C.

“The COVID Alert app is free and voluntary, and is another tool to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks,” said Health Canada spokesperson Maryse Durette.

“At all levels of uptake, COVID Alert can help reduce transmission. The more people who use the app the more effective it will be.”

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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Dec. 5: Lambton's active COVID-19 caseload climbs to 22 – Strathroy Age Dispatch



The number of active COVID-19 cases in Sarnia-Lambton increased Saturday by four to 22, public health officials reported.

The increase was a result of six more confirmed cases, bringing the running total in Sarnia-Lambton to 426, and two more resolved cases, Lambton public health officials said in their daily update.

The total number of resolved cases was 379.

Friday Bluewater Health announced the number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 being cared for at Sarnia’s hospital had dropped to zero for the first time since Oct. 29.

An outbreak was declared Friday at an unnamed workplace due to two confirmed cases, and two cases this week were linked to Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, sending 19 students home to quarantine.

Sarnia-Lambton remained in the yellow, protect bracket in Ontario’s colour-coded COVID-19 response framework.

There have been 25 local COVID-19 deaths, but none since early June.

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Jeff Bezos claims space company Blue Origin will take 1st woman to the moon – Global News



Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin will take the first woman to the moon’s surface, the billionaire said on Friday as NASA nears a decision to pick its first privately built lunar landers capable of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024.

“This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon,” Bezos said in a post on Instagram with a video of the engine test this week at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The BE-7 engine, which Blue Origin has been developing for years, has tallied 1,245 seconds of test-fire time and will power the company’s National Team Human Landing System lunar lander.

Read more:
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offloaded nearly US$1 billion in company shares last week

Blue Origin leads a “national team” as the prime contractor that it assembled in 2019 to help build its Blue Moon lander. That team includes Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper.

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Blue Origin has vied for lucrative government contracts in recent years and is competing with rival billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Dynetics, owned by Leidos Holdings Inc, to win a contract to build NASA’s next human lunar landing system to ferry humans to the moon in the next decade.

Click to play video 'Jeff Bezos unveils mockup of moon lander ‘Blue Moon’'

Jeff Bezos unveils mockup of moon lander ‘Blue Moon’

Jeff Bezos unveils mockup of moon lander ‘Blue Moon’ – May 9, 2019

In April, NASA awarded a lunar lander development contract to Blue Origin’s team worth $579 million, as well as two other companies: SpaceX which received $135 million to help develop its Starship system and Leidos-owned Dynetics which won $253 million.

NASA is poised to pick two of the three companies “in early March” 2021 to continue building their lander prototypes for crewed missions to the moon beginning in 2024, an agency spokeswoman has said.

But slim funds for the landing systems made available to NASA by Congress, as well as uncertainty over the incoming Biden administration’s views on space exploration, have threatened to delay NASA’s decision to advance the lunar lander contracts.


© 2020 Reuters

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Madden 21 On Next-Gen Impressions: The Good, Underwhelming And The Bottom Line – Forbes



The next-gen version of Madden 21 released a day early for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S fans who already owned the game on current-gen consoles.

I’ve been playing the game since early on December 3, and one thing is pretty clear to me; it’s that this experience doesn’t warrant a full review because it’s not a brand new game.

I believe I’d be doing EA and fans a disservice by placing a score on what I consider more of a remastering than a new game.

That said, here’s the good, the bad and the bottom line.

The Good

Slight Visual Upgrade

If you’re looking for the kind of visual upgrade that gamers saw with NBA 2K21 and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find that here. That said, there are some cutscenes between plays that will draw some admiration.

Haptic Feedback is Awesome

The best upgrade inthe next-gen version is in the PlayStation 5 controller. The haptic feedback comes through nicely on tackles and some of the ball-carrying situations. I adds a bit to the immersion and delivers an on-the-field quality.

Play-Calling Menu is an Adjustment, But a Long-Term Win

The new play-calling menu has more options than before, like finding plays for specific targets, and even making a favorites list. The UI is very different than what most Madden fans are used to, so there is some adjustment necessary.

Still, I see it as a change that will be positive in the long run.

The Underwhelming

I usually call this the bad section, but instead, I’m going with “the underwhelming.”

It’s not necessarily bad–at least not in every instance–and as I mentioned, this is more of a remaster than a full new release.

Players Feel More Weighted, But it Needs Balancing

Some users may like this, and I might ultimately join that group. However, at this point, the players mostly feel slow and sluggish with the exception of the most dynamic athletes like Tyreek Hill, Lamar Jackson and Christian McCaffrey.

I’m all for there being a differentiator in this vein, but at the moment, the defense seems to be at a major disadvantage in space against most any skill position player. In my experiences, this has led to a lot more big plays down the field caused by missed tackles.

The players definitely move more realistically than before, which was the major connection with Next-Gen Stats, but defensive players need a little bit of a buff to allow them to compete. I think this is fixable, or admittedly, it might be something I get used to over the next few weeks.

However, at this point, current-gen Madden is actually more fun to play. That’s probably a bit of death blow, but after further review, it’s how I’m feeling.

Weather Effects Aren’t a Thing

I was initially told weather would have no impact on gameplay.

Later, I was told the slipping and dropped passes from current-gen would still be in the game. I haven’t seen either as of yet, and quite honestly, I’m not sure they were ever quite as impacting as they should have been on PS4 or Xbox One.

While it is nice to see the footprints in the snow on parts of the field, this aspect of the presentation is the epitome of underwhelming.

No New Modes

I’ll keep this pretty short and plain: there are no new next-gen exclusive modes.

Lower-Quality Visuals in Some Instances

EA wanted to make sidelines more visibly appealing, and they accomplished their goal in some areas. However, there are some instances where the next-gen version becomes a visual downgrade. In some cutscenes, it appears the heads of linemen have simply been placed on the body of a wide receiver or defensive back.

The body types don’t match and this creates a very unfavorable looking model on the screen–especially considering this is a next-gen upgrade.

Next-Gen Stats is a Useless Gimmick at This Point

One of the biggest drivers for Madden 21 on next-gen was the use of Next-Gen Stats. A great usage of this tech would have been as an engine behind a new ratings system.

However, instead it’s more of a useless statistical overlay that really means nothing in the grand scheme of things. A number pops up on the screen during some pretty nice looking replays, but none of the speeds actually feel faster than the others, and it feels as though it’s all arbitrarily issued just for the sake of the graphic.

Hopefully EA builds this out into something with more meat on the bones in future versions of the game.

The Bottom Line

Madden 21 on next-gen was free to anyone who bought the game on PS4 or Xbox One X. Because of that, it’s hard to complain about it taking just a small bunny hop forward from the current-gen version.

That said, it’s impossible not to compare this to what 2K did with NBA 2K21. The difference is night and day. NBA 2K21 on next-gen still has some bugs to work out to reach its potential, but at least they tried to deliver a different experience.

At some point in the next couple of weeks, NBA 2K21 will have its act together, and it will have still delivered a true next-gen experience about eight months before Madden.

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