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Cruise ships still on track, despite province health officer's wish to delay season – Saanich News

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Victoria’s first cruise ship of the season is still tentatively scheduled to arrive on April 3.

B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in an announcement Monday that she believes more moves should be made to slow down the incoming cruise ship season.

At a news conference in Victoria, Henry, along with B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, announced the first death of a B.C. resident due to coronavirus.

The man was in his 80s with a number of underlying health concerns; he lived at the Lynn Valley Care Facility in Vancouver. In the same announcement, Henry said the number of coronavirus cases has risen to 32.

Bringing in hundreds of thousands of passengers and crew members from incoming cruise ships starting in April would not be wise, she said.

VIDEO: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

“We are very aware that the cruise ship season is coming up here in Victoria,” Henry said. “My personal belief right now is we are in a very critical time around the world and it is my belief that we should be delaying our cruise season.”

Despite these statements, no official protocol has been put forward.

“For now, we haven’t received any direction from the province or Health Canada that would change our status,” said Brian Cant, manager of communications at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

For now, the first call in Victoria is scheduled for April 3 from The Grand Princess cruise ship. The ship is currently being held off of the coast of California as test results come in for passengers suspected of being infected with COVID-19.

– With files from Tom Fletcher

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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Province announced 131 new cases of COVID-19 in past three days; active case count rises again – radionl.com

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The province is reporting 131 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday afternoon.

The active case count has risen to 445 in B.C. That’s up from 386 on Friday and 278 on July 31.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says we need to do better as a province to stop exposure events from happening.

“Parties and gatherings with young people, many of whom you don’t know, even if there aren’t 50 people are a concern. And we have seen that. We saw that on the July 1st long weekend. We’ve seen it across the province, where people have been coming together and having group gatherings with different people and not maintaining safe distances from people they don’t know.”

Meantime, there were no new deaths in B.C. from COVID over the weekend, and there has not been one since July 31.

There are now nine people in hospital with the virus and two people in intensive care.

The total case count in B.C. since COVID-19 arrived is now 4,065, and 1,012 of those cases have happened in the past month.

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BC records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths – Fernie Free Press

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From Friday to Monday B.C. recorded 131 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of active confirmed cases as of Monday (Aug. 10) to 445.

Nine of those people are battling the disease in hospital, three of whom are in critical care or intensive care, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed in a news conference Monday afternoon.

Broken down by day, 50 people tested positive for the respiratory illness Friday to Saturday, 37 on Saturday to Sunday and a further 44 on Sunday to Monday.

There have been no new deaths, leaving the total to 195 lives lost linked to the novel coronavirus.

Many of those who tested positive over the weekend were linked to prior cases, Henry said. There are currently 1,765 identified by contact tracing for being in close contact with an infected person who are self-monitoring or in touch with public health staff.

More to come.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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Manitobans to get more detailed regional breakdown of COVID-19 cases this week, says minister – CBC.ca

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Manitobans can expect to get more details about where new COVID-19 cases are popping up by the end of the week, but it’s not yet clear how specific that information will be.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen said Monday the province will begin releasing more “nuanced” geographical breakdowns of where new cases emerge beginning later this week — a significant shift since the virus arrived in the province five months ago

Up until now, the province has generally only identified the regional health authority of new cases, occasionally offering more pointed information depending on the public health risk in those areas.

Moving forward those regions will be split down into finer zones or districts, said Friesen.

The impetus for the shift is that the province knows more now than it did in March when the coronavirus officially arrived in Manitoba, he said.

“We don’t think there’s any benefit in someone knowing that someone has COVID-19 that lives four blocks down from you or down the street, but it’s this balancing act of providing good information in a timely way to Manitobans and then of course on the other side making sure there isn’t a negative effect from over-identification.”

Another change that’s on the way is linked to hard-hit communities, said Manitoba’s chief public health officer.

Dr. Brent Roussin suggested that if things get out of control, certain communities in particular could see a return to past restrictions.

“As we move forward our approach is to not have widespread restrictions, take a much more surgical approach as any restrictions are required,” said Dr. Brent Roussin.

He said health officials don’t yet have anything too specific in mind. He didn’t share a possible timeline for region-specific restrictions. 

But Roussin made the comments Monday after announcing 16 new cases and addressing a cluster in Brandon that has soared to at least 64.

COVID-19 cases in Manitoba have shifted from prevalence in the Winnipeg health region in April (illustrated by the red dots) to the Prairie Mountain Health (yellow) and Southern Health (blue) regions. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Most of the active cases are in Prairie Mountain and Southern health regions.

There are early signs of community spread in Brandon, which is when health officials are unable to confirm where someone got the virus, but most of the clusters cases have a known source, he said.

That’s why Brandon hasn’t been hit with restrictions — yet.

“We’re certainly talking about Brandon where we see this cluster,” he said. “That area should be taking extra caution.”

Roussin acknowledged increasing enforcement is an option but he would prefer to see businesses, organizations and individual take actions now to prevent that.

“By messaging, by things that Manitobans have learned, this is our opportunity to live with the virus, not shut things down,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be necessary to have to enforce these things to protect the health of Manitobans, but we will.”

The red bars illustrate the daily number of active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

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