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COVID-19 update for Sept. 9: Here’s the latest on coronavirus 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 Sept. 9, 2020.

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Sept. 9, 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.


CASE SUMMARY

As of the latest figures given on Sept. 9:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 6,691 (1,378 active)
• New cases since Sept. 8: 100
• Hospitalized cases: 37
• Intensive care: 15
• COVID-19 related deaths: 213
• Cases under public health monitoring: 3,101
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 15

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


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: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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

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


LATEST UPDATES

3 p.m. – Two new health-care facility outbreaks reported in B.C. as active cases rise

There have been 100 new cases of COVID-19 reported in British Columbia over the past day and no deaths.

There are now 1,378 active cases of the disease in the province, with 37 of those cases being treated in hospital including 15 in intensive care. There have been 213 COVID-related deaths so far in B.C.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 3,101 people in self-isolation after being potentially exposed to the disease.

Henry said there had fresh outbreaks at two health-care facilities – the Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility in Vancouver and the Milieu Children and Family Services Society community living facility in the Fraser Health region. This is the second outbreak at the Royal Arch Masonic home, with the first one leading to 12 deaths. There are 13 cases at the Milieu group home.

Sixteen of the 100 new cases reported on Wednesday were in health-care facilities, including 10 staff.

1:15 p.m. – B.C. plans to keep hospitals open, surgeries booked, during fall surge

B.C. is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to boost the health-care system this fall in an attempt to keep hospitals open for normal admissions, surgeries and ordinary influenza patients, while also handling a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Premier John Horgan unveiled the plan Wednesday, built upon an analysis of B.C.’s traditional winter influenza demands matched to a range of pandemic predictions.

In the worst-case scenario, the province says it has enough beds and ventilators to handle as many as double the COVID-19 cases seen during the peak periods from March to May, on top of regular hospital demands and flu cases.

The fall plan is underpinned by several changes to B.C.’s policies so far, including a shift from a province-wide health-care response used when the pandemic began in March, toward a regional approach that health officials said could be narrowed down to individual communities based on potential surges around the province.

8 a.m. – B.C. education Minister Rob Fleming answers your back-to-school questions

As students head back to school, we asked parents what questions they have for Education Minister Rob Fleming. In an exclusive interview, the minister responds.

Q: If B.C. is on the brink of an increase in COVID-19 infections, are you confident you can welcome kids back to school safely?

Fleming: Yes, we are because we have a well-thought-out plan, but one that changes a lot of things that we are used to in school. The new normal has a number of layers of protection. Provincial and federal COVID-19-specific funding helps pay for those things, whether it’s remote learning options for kids who are not returning to school or making in-class instruction safer by having hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer, staggered breaks, and keeping kids in smaller learning groups.

Click HERE to read the full interview.

8 a.m. – First Nation in Powell River, B.C., declares emergency after COVID-19 outbreak

A Powell River-area First Nation has issued a state of emergency after confirmation that four members have COVID-19 and several others are reporting symptoms of the virus.

A notice on the Tla’amin Nation website says residents have been ordered to shelter in place to slow the spread of the virus while health officials complete contact tracing.

The order affecting the community took effect late Tuesday afternoon and advised members they should stay where the are for the next 72 hours.

Access to the First Nation has also been restricted to a single entry point and parents are being urged to keep children out of school this week.

A letter from Vancouver Coastal Health says contact with the virus likely occurred during a wake on Sept. 3 or a funeral the following day in Powell River.

12 a.m. – Vancouver mayor calls special meeting to address needs of homeless during COVID

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is calling a special council meeting Friday to address proposals to deal with what he is calling emergency COVID-19 relief for the homeless problem impacting the city.

The mayor has put forward a motion with three options, including leasing or buying housing units including hotels, single-room occupancy residences and other available housing stock, establishing a temporary emergency relief encampment on vacant public or private lands and/or temporarily converting city-owned buildings into emergency housing or shelter.

12 a.m. – B.C. nightclubs and banquet halls shuttered and no late night booze sales

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has ordered all nightclubs and banquet halls closed, no late night booze sales and no loud party noise, as active cases of COVID-19 rise.

On Tuesday, Henry reported 429 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. over the last four days, and two deaths.

She said there were 1,386 active cases of COVID-19, of which 32 were being treated in hospital, including 12 in intensive care. There are 3,063 cases being monitored by health authorities after being exposed to the virus.

The two deaths had occurred at long-term care facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions. There are 14 active cases in health-care settings.

Henry said changes had to be made to combat the rising cases. People aged 20-29 make up the bulk of new cases among the age groups from zero to 100.

6 a.m. – Thousands of Canadian students return to schools as new COVID-19 cases emerge

Multiple provinces reported COVID-19 cases linked to schools just as thousands more students returned to class Tuesday, raising fears over what’s in store for a segment of the population largely sheltered from exposure over the past six months.

The fallout from earlier openings in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec cast a shadow over giddy reunions and hopes for a quick return to normal as more elementary, junior and high school students tested pandemic precautions that have touched nearly every aspect of school life, from the lunchroom to the playground.

Support Our Students Alberta, a non-partisan, non-profit public education advocacy group, released an online tracker for kindergarten to Grade 12 schools that suggested 22 schools have had cases since reopening a week ago.

Opposition NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman said there were at least 20 COVID-19 cases in schools, with 16 of those infections reported since Friday.

“This is a very disturbing trend just days into the school year,” Hoffman told a news conference.

Alberta Health Services said it was compiling a list of schools with confirmed cases. None of the schools have declared outbreaks and all remained open.

In Ottawa, officials told 193 students and seven staff to stay home after linking them to novel coronavirus infections.

THE CANADIAN PRESS



LOCAL RESOURCES

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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BC Eyeing Record Influenza Vaccine Rollout – CFNR Network

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British Columbia is looking to break records when it comes to this year’s influenza vaccine rollout, according to Minister Adrian Dix.


Dix says that the province has received 2.4 million doses of vaccines, 200 thousand more than last year.

Experts are expecting a flu season for the record books as well, after Covid lockdowns nearly killed off all spread last year.

In recent years, British Columbia has been accustomed to closer to 1.5 million doses, but the province is expecting more demand as Covid restrictions begin to loosen.

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COVID-19 drives up demand for flu shots; N.S. to launch campaign later this week – CTV News Atlantic

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HALIFAX –

With the colder winds of fall starting to blow, flu season will soon be on us again, but it seems scores of people are hoping to head off the sickness by getting a flu shot.

Unlike last year, when it was essentially pre-empted by COVID-19, experts say influenza will be back this year.

Just hours after getting a shipment and posting signage outside lineups started to form inside a north end Halifax pharmacy.

“We just got our flu shots, and people start showing up right away,” said pharmacist and store owner Ghada Gabr.

“I think this is going to be a lot of demand.”

It’s the same story a few blocks away, where pharmacist Greg Richard is expecting his first shipment of flu vaccine later this week.

With COVID-19 still around, customers like Kathy Lynch, who hasn’t had a flu shot in five years, is anxious to get one.

“I mean, I feel great. I’ve had no problem with either of the vaccinations, so, to put another layer on top is just the best thing, I think,” she said.

“People are eager to get their doses into them right off the bat,” said Richard. “They’re not looking to wait until November or December. So, I have a list of folks I’m going to reach out to as soon as they (the vaccines) arrive, and I anticipate to run through my stock pretty quickly.”

And it might very turn out to be the same thing across the country.

There’s word today Ontario has ordered an extra 1.4 million doses, with an aim to make the shots available to everyone by next month.

In Nova Scotia, the Health Minister says the official kickoff will come later this week, and supply should not be a problem,

“We do anticipate having enough vaccine for folks,” said Michelle Thompson.

“And I would really encourage people to ensure they have both their COVID-19 vaccine and the influenza vaccine this year.”

But, if early demand is any indication there might not be need for much encouragement.

A sign of the times as more and more of us take steps to avoid getting sick.

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PG woman denied high dose flu shot, although her age and health condition makes her eligible – CKPGToday.ca

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“I’m an advocate for my health and I want the best that there is–everybody should have what they need,” said Newman.

Today, the province announced it’s beginning its influenza immunization campaign.

“The influenza vaccine is for free for anybody over six months of age, for whom it’s recommended. But particularly for people who have underlying health conditions,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer

Newman’s condition requires a higher dose of the flu shot and she has been eager to get it. However, she says she’s been denied even though she’s eligible.

“I have Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is a cancer of your lymphatic system–your germ fighting network. So as soon as the flu shots were available, I phone my pharmacy to get the high dose vaccine. I was told that the high doses were not available,” said Newman.

Because of her cancer, she’s also classified as a Clinically Extremely Vulnerable person (CEV). She has qualified for the high dose shot in the last three years. But after calling more than a dozen pharmacies and Northern Health, she was told she wasn’t eligible yet.

“It’s really hard to get answers. But when I’ve had it in the past and people in my situation have had the high dose in the past. I just don’t get why we cannot get it. Nobody can tell me. They don’t say it’s a supply issue or anything, so I just don’t understand,” said Newman.

According to ImmunizeBC’s website, First Nations communities, residents in long term care, residents in assisted living facilities, and who are 65 and older are able to receive the high dose for free.

This means Newman’s age alone qualifies her.

CKPG-TV reached out to the Ministry of Health for clarification as to why she wasn’t able to get a high dose shot. At the time that this article was written, this was the response that was given:

“As of today, the province is proud to announce the implementation of free publicly-funded influenza vaccines for those 6 months and older (those under 6 months aren’t eligible to receive this vaccine). FluZone HD, also referred to as the “high-dose influenza vaccine,” was never publicly-funded in BC until the federal government made it available in limited supply last year. With publicly funded FluZone HD, eligibility is restricted to residents of LTC/AL who are 65 or older. This year, eligibility was extended to people 65 or older residing in Indigenous communities. No pharmacy within Northern Health has a stock of publicly funded FluZone HD reserved for these eligible populations; they are administered through other means. Some pharmacies may pay for private-pay stock of FluZone HD. That is their prerogative and the Ministry is only responsible for publicly-funded stock. If those over 65 who do not live in an Indigenous community or are an LTC resident can receive a standard-dose influenza vaccine, they should accept it,” said Ministry of Health.

Newman says that she’s not undermining the importance of the other groups getting the high dose, she’s upset that the province didn’t plan for high-risk people like herself to get one.

“It just astounds me. To me, there’s no common sense. I know common sense is not so common, but what is right is right and you know I’ve already gotten my covid booster shot. I felt guilty getting that before some people in long care even got it. I just want what’s right for everybody.” said Newman.

She says she’s not going to give up on her fight and she thanks all healthcare workers for their fight against COVID-19.

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