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COVID-19 update for Oct. 5: Here's the latest on coronavirus in BC – 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 Oct. 5, 2021.

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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 Oct. 5:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 190,372 (5,937 active)
• New cases since Oct. 4: 593
• Total deaths: 1,993 (no additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 345 (up 19)
• Intensive care: 144 (up two)
• Total vaccinations: 4,092,813 received first dose; 3,789,179 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 182,045
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 19

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IN-DEPTH:Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

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.

B.C. Ministry of Education to consider allowing school boards to mandate vaccination among staff

The New Westminster school district is seeking a legal opinion on whether it can mandate vaccination for all teachers and other workers at its 13 schools.

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The move comes as B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix revealed on Tuesday that an education advisory committee on standards and guidelines for school boards would discuss whether boards can implement vaccine mandates.

“We know there is a desire expressed by people in the school communities for (vaccination) mandates in education,” Dix said.

“As such, my colleague Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside is immediately convening an advisory committee, an ad hoc one with (B.C. Public School Employers’ Association) and other partners, to develop common principles, standards and guidelines to support boards with the potential implementation of vaccine mandates.

“The committee will work quickly to get these materials to boards as soon as possible. If boards wish to explore a vaccine policy independently, we would strongly encourage them to work with BCPSEA and their local partners.”

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Last Friday, New Westminster Schools approved a motion to seek a legal opinion “on mandatory staff vaccinations” with the report due by Oct. 12.

In a prepared statement, school board vice chair Dee Beattie said the motion was passed to get a better understanding of legal options around vaccinations.

BCTF president Teri Mooring told Postmedia News that Tuesday’s statement by Dix was the first time she had heard about the Ministry of Education looking at creating guidelines for school districts should they decide to implement vaccination mandates.

B.C. to require mandatory vaccination for 30,000 government workers

Mandatory vaccinations are coming for B.C.’s 30,000 public service employees.

On Tuesday, the provincial government said it will make COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for B.C. public service employees.

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The B.C. Public Service Agency said it will require employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22.

People who are unable to be vaccinated will be accommodated, said the government in its release, with more details to be released in early November.

— Cheryl Chan

Health officials to give COVID-19 news briefing today

B.C. health officials are scheduled to give a COVID-19 update Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are expected to be in attendance.

On Monday, the province began its booster-shot program for seniors living in long-term care and assisted living facilities. B.C.’s extended mask requirements to cover students from kindergarten to Grade 3 also started yesterday.

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On Oct. 4, the province reported 1,986 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days. There were 10 additional deaths.

After anti-vaccine protests, ‘bubble zones’ coming for B.C. hospitals and schools

VICTORIA — B.C. will introduce bubble-zone legislation during the fall legislature session to protect hospitals and schools from aggressive protesters who oppose vaccine cards and mandates.

B.C. Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, who has called aggressive and violent anti-vaccine protesters “COVIDiots,” confirmed the news Monday.

“I can confirm that it will be legislation and it will be introduced later this session.”

Protests at hospitals organized by people who don’t believe in the vaccine have turned ugly, with some health-care workers saying they’ve been physically and verbally assaulted coming to and leaving work.

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— Victoria Times Colonist

An anti-vaxxer Edmonton Oiler got COVID and now his hockey career might be over

Josh Archibald is a forward with the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team. He refused to get vaccinated and had gone public on social media with COVID-denial theories. Now, following a diagnosis of a heart condition said to be an after-effect of someone who has contracted COVID, his playing days might be over.

According to protocols for unvaccinated players, Archibald was in a 14-day quarantine after travelling from the U.S, when he started feeling unwell. Archibald, 28, went for a battery of medical tests and doctors discovered he had COVID antibodies and myocarditis. It is suspected that Archibald had come down with COVID during the summer and myocarditis is a known after-effect of the virus.

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Myocarditis can lead to cardiac arrest and possible death with the heart rate increasing through exertion.

During the pandemic, Archibald made his views about COVID known on social media, tweeting out COVID-denial information.

The diagnosis of myocarditis puts his career in serious jeopardy.

Read more HERE.

— Postmedia News

More COVID ICU patients coming to Island, Lower Mainland hospitals

VICTORIA — Seven more COVID patients are en route to hospitals on the Island and Lower Mainland from the northern health region, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday, as the province posted almost 2,000 new cases over the weekend.

Last week, the ministry said 25 ICU patients had been transferred from Northern Health to Island Health, Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health since Sept. 6. Now the number is 32, which includes 26 COVID patients, he said.

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“None of them — none, zero — are fully vaccinated,” Dix told media Monday.

The ministry was unable to say Monday how many have been transferred to Island Health hospitals.

Unvaccinated COVID cases are presenting profound challenges for the health-care system, Dix said.

Eighty-one per cent of those eligible for COVID vaccines in the province are fully immunized. A lower-dose vaccine is expected to be approved for kids age five to 11 by the end of the year.

Read more HERE.

— Victoria Times Colonist

The fall of Jacinda Ardern: Delta, low vaccination rates unravel New Zealand’s COVID lockdown strategy

In May last year, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s youngest prime minister, also became its most popular since records began.

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The phenomenon of “Jacinda-mania” swept through the island nation as she won worldwide praise for the decisive action that had restricted the country’s COVID-related deaths to just 26.

But the war against coronavirus is far from over, and there are growing signs that the 41-year-old Labour Party leader’s strategy of closing her country’s borders is unravelling.

The wildly infectious Delta variant has found its way into Auckland, and is spreading faster than the government can track it, despite a fresh lockdown. Fifty new cases were reported over the weekend and another 29 on Monday, bringing the current total number to 287 — including a newborn baby. The lockdown restrictions were expanded to the area south of New Zealand’s largest city after the emergence of unlinked cases in the Waikato region.

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Ardern’s failure to vaccinate the Kiwi population, of whom 80 per cent remain unprotected, has made the country the perfect host for Delta, with no immunity through exposure to COVID. She threw a belt around her country, but did not bother with the braces.

Only now is she abandoning her “elimination” strategy in favour of a three-stage roadmap that takes into account vaccination rates.

Read more HERE.

— The Telegraph


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:


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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Hospitals in Saskatchewan face prolonged COVID-19 crisis, modelling shows

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COVID-19 patients will keep crowding hospital intensive care units (ICUs) in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan well into next year without government orders to limit public mixing, modelling data showed on Wednesday.

As the pandemic ebbed during the summer, the western farming and mining province lifted restrictions at the fastest rate in Canada along with neighbouring Alberta. Saskatchewan has since become the country’s  COVID-19 hotspots, with the lowest vaccination rate among provinces, and had to hastily reimpose restrictions such as masking in indoor public places.

“I have no shame in pleading to the public, that we’ve gone so far and we just have to pull along for the next weeks and months,” said Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, who broke down with emotion during a media briefing. “It is distressing to see what is happening in our ICUs and hospitals and I’m sorry — it’s a very challenging time.”

The pandemic’s spread has forced Saskatchewan to fly some COVID-19 patients to Ontario for care and to cancel thousands of surgeries.

Saskatchewan’s modelling showed that severe cases will continue to overwhelm ICUs until March before beginning to decline, without a reduction in mixing, such as smaller gatherings, and greater access to vaccine booster shots. Reduced mixing should ideally last at least 28 days, Shahab said.

The provincial government, led by Premier Scott Moe, has declined to impose limits on private gatherings, however.

Canada’s daily case counts spiked in late summer, but have declined recently. Cases in Saskatchewan and Alberta have also started trending lower, however they have still recorded the highest rates of deaths among the 10 provinces in the past week, and the highest rates of active cases.

 

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by David Gregorio)

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SHA says COVID-19 protocols prevented a flu season last year – moosejawtoday.com

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The Saskatchewan Health Authority says last year’s flu season was prevented thanks to masks, physical and social distancing, and increased hand washing.

Dr. Tania Diener, the COVID-19 Immunization Co-Chief at the province’s Emergency Operations Centre, says that, “We effectively didn’t have a flu season here last year.”

With restrictions slowly lifting from a population feeling the stress of isolation and public health measures, the province is uncertain about whether or not a flu season will return this winter.

Dr. Diener emphasized that, “Our hospitals are already under strain due to the number of cases of COVID-19, especially among those who are unvaccinated, due to the new Delta variant. A further influx of people sick with influenza would further strain those resources, so we’re asking everyone to get their flu vaccine again this year.”

SHA says they have enough evidence at this point to conclude that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine together is safe, and they encourage everyone able to do so to get both vaccines as soon as possible. 

This year’s flu vaccine is quadrivalent, meaning it protects against four different flu variants, an improvement from last year’s, which was trivalent. 
Information on this year’s flu vaccine can be found here.

Those looking to book their flu and/or COVID-19 vaccine can go to 4flu.ca.

SHA’s full press release can be found here.

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Province says flu shots prevents serious illness, deaths – My Comox Valley Now

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The province wants you to roll up your sleeves for another kind of vaccine as we head into flu season.

Health officials are hoping you will take their advice and get a flu shot, which is free for everyone in B.C. older than six months.

They say the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the strain it has put on the health-care system continue to make influenza immunization a priority.

“All British Columbians should get vaccinated against influenza to protect themselves and their loved ones from serious illness, to reduce the strain on our hard-working health workers and to do our part to make sure the health system continues to be there for people who need it, where they need it and when they need it,” said health minister Adrian Dix. 

“I’m grateful to all of our health-care workers, including physicians, pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners and others for how they help people get immunized to protect themselves and those they care about.”

Seasonal influenza and other respiratory viruses will be in communities alongside COVID-19 this fall and winter.

The province says it “has the potential to escalate pressures already faced by the health-care system, particularly if the effects from COVID-19 and seasonal influenza occur are the same.”

That is why vaccines are now available and the province continues to increase vaccine accessibility through many locations and vaccine providers throughout B.C.

“This year, it’s especially important for people to get vaccinated against influenza. Last year’s low influenza rates means our immunity against influenza is lower than usual,” said provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. 

“Getting your influenza vaccine this year is more important than ever to protect yourself, your community and our overstretched health-care system.”

Pharmacies around B.C. have played a key role in providing easy access to influenza vaccines since 2009. 

This year, vaccines are available to pharmacies through a direct-distribution model. 

This means pharmacies are able to order them directly from distributors, which the province says makes “influenza immunization easier and more flexible for people in B.C.”

“Pharmacists played a key role in helping people get immunized against COVID-19 earlier this year and administered the majority of influenza doses last year,” said Geraldine Vance, CEO, B.C. Pharmacy Association. “We’re proud of the role we continue to play in protecting our health-care system and keeping everyone safe.”

Flu vaccines have been available already for certain high-risk groups. 

As they become available more broadly to the public throughout the province, you’re asked to check their health authority’s website or call their health-care provider or pharmacist to check for availability and to make an appointment.

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