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'Extra' variant vigilance needed to avoid third wave: PM, health officials warn – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Federal health officials and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued consecutive stark warnings on Friday: now is the time for “extra” vigilance around the new coronavirus variants as a continued spread could spark a third wave in Canada.

While the national COVID-19 curve is bending, with more cases of novel coronavirus variants being detected across Canada, now is not the time to ease up on public health restrictions, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday.

“These past weeks have been very challenging, but we’ve made great progress and are now almost two-thirds of the way down this curve… But we’ll need to keep putting the brakes on the spread of new virus variants of concern in Canada,” Tam said during a briefing on the current COVID-19 situation on Friday morning.

Echoing this, Trudeau said that while it is a “positive sign” that cases are going down across the country, people need to remain cautious as some modelling is indicating an increase in variant spread could spark a third wave.

“Nobody wants a third wave to start, particularly not one comprised of new more communicable variants that can cause real challenges.”

On Friday, the federal government announced a new $53 million “variants of concern strategy,” to increase capacity to research, find, track and sequence the three prominent variants of concern: B.1.1.7 which originated in the U.K., B.1.351 which originated in South Africa, and P.1 which originated in Brazil.

“You might be worried about these new strains… we’re putting our best experts on it,” Trudeau said adding that: “Canada is ready” to handle the variants, though at present, the surveillance strategy for testing positive cases to detect these strains, varies across the country.

The new strategy includes a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, Health Canada, Genome Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The group of epidemiology, immunology and virology experts will advise on drug therapy and vaccine effectiveness, as well as broader public health measures.

The strategy will also implement standardized data sharing across the country.

Tam said that part of the fight against the variants will also be through the ongoing vaccine rollout, though at present, mass vaccinations aren’t set to begin until April, meaning for the next month and a half the immunization campaign will continue prioritizing front-line health care workers, seniors, and other vulnerable populations.

As a result, most Canadians will have to continue to increase their vigilance with measures like physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing to do their part.

On Friday Trudeau confirmed that by the end of March Pfizer will have sent its promised total of four million vaccine doses, and as part of the Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout the pharmaceutical giant will be sending 10.8 million doses between April and June.

“This is a really delicate period,” Tam said. “Look at the European countries, they give us a clue as to what might happen if variants circulating and we let our guard down,” she said, adding that if that happens Canada could see a “massive acceleration” leading to a “third resurgence.”

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said during Friday’s briefing that, as early as next week, federal health officials will be presenting updated national modelling that will factor in the potential impact these variants will have on the country’s epidemic curve.

SHOULD PROVINCES REOPEN?

There are now eight provinces that have reported having cases of at least one of the variants of concern.

These warnings come as some provinces are mulling easing lockdowns once again, including in Ontario where there have been cases of all three variants. On Thursday, modelling experts in that province reported that the case count will “likely rise” in Ontario if these new highly contagious variants spread further into communities.

Asked whether he thinks the threat variants pose merits evoking the Emergencies Act or if further intervention would be required to dissuade provinces from easing up on certain restrictions, Trudeau wouldn’t comment directly on the approaches of the provinces but said all Canadians need to be “extra vigilant.”

“As certain restrictions are perhaps eased by certain provinces, and people get to go out a little bit more, all the more reason,” Trudeau said, suggesting it’s an opportune time to download the federal COVID Alert exposure notification app and refrain from gathering with others.

He also noted the billions of dollars sent to the provinces to help them support their citizens when they have to make decisions like keeping sectors closed to keep case counts down.

“We make our decisions based on the best recommendations of our health officials and as a federal government we will be there to support and encourage the right decisions by the provinces,” Trudeau said.

As of Friday afternoon there are more than 36,000 active COVID-19 cases Canada-wide. To date there have been more than 819,000 cases and more than 21,100 people have died in this country.

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, Mar. 8 – Canada News – Castanet.net

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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of Monday March 8, 2021.

_ Canada: 886,574 confirmed cases (30,268 active, 834,067 resolved, 22,239 deaths).The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 2,489 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 79.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18,880 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,697.

There were 26 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 245 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 35. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.52 per 100,000 people.

There have been 25,159,921 tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,006 confirmed cases (91 active, 909 resolved, six deaths).

There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 17.43 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 19 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people.

There have been 201,814 tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 141 confirmed cases (26 active, 115 resolved, zero deaths).

There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 16.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 112,416 tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,659 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,565 resolved, 65 deaths).

There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people.

There have been 366,679 tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 1,455 confirmed cases (36 active, 1,391 resolved, 28 deaths).

There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.61 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 25 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.58 per 100,000 people.

There have been 242,695 tests completed.

_ Quebec: 292,631 confirmed cases (7,100 active, 275,059 resolved, 10,472 deaths).

There were 707 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 82.8 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 4,891 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 699.

There were seven new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 79 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 122.13 per 100,000 people.

There have been 6,452,036 tests completed.

_ Ontario: 308,296 confirmed cases (10,389 active, 290,840 resolved, 7,067 deaths).

There were 1,299 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 70.51 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,480 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,069.

There were 15 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 87 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.96 per 100,000 people.

There have been 11,205,314 tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 32,225 confirmed cases (1,130 active, 30,188 resolved, 907 deaths).

There were 56 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 81.93 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 366 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 52.

There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 12 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.76 per 100,000 people.

There have been 541,269 tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 29,709 confirmed cases (1,517 active, 27,794 resolved, 398 deaths).

There were 116 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 128.7 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,062 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 152.

There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 13 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 33.77 per 100,000 people.

There have been 590,938 tests completed.

_ Alberta: 135,837 confirmed cases (4,949 active, 128,974 resolved, 1,914 deaths).

There were 300 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 111.92 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,333 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 333.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 43.28 per 100,000 people.

There have been 3,445,307 tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 83,107 confirmed cases (4,975 active, 76,752 resolved, 1,380 deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 96.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,653 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 379.

There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 25 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.81 per 100,000 people.

There have been 1,969,444 tests completed.

_ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people.

There have been 8,232 tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (one active, 41 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been 14,849 tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 381 confirmed cases (25 active, 355 resolved, one deaths).

There were four new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 63.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 24 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people.

There have been 8,852 tests completed.

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COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up – Oak Bay News

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After months of anticipation, vaccination clinics for B.C.’s oldest residents and Indigenous seniors are set to begin booking appointments. Here’s what you need to know.

All health authorities in B.C. will begin booking appointments starting at 7 a.m. PST on Monday (March 8) for seniors who are age 90 and up, Indigenous seniors age 65 and up and Indigenous Elders. Vaccination appointments will begin on March 15.

Dozens of sites will be open across the province, with some operating as drive-thrus. Mobile teams will help vaccinate seniors who cannot leave their homes, while community groups will help those who cannot book on their own.

Before you call Monday morning, make sure you are (or are calling for):

  • a senior aged 90 and up
  • an Indigenous senior aged 65 and up
  • an Indigenous Elder

Booking starts at 7 a.m. PST on Monday and runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Online booking in Fraser Health will be available around the clock. Call centre operators will ask for legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number, phone number and an email address. They will not ask for banking or credit card information, nor for social insurance numbers.

To book an appointment:

  • Fraser Health residents can book by phone at 1-855-755-2455 or online at www.Fraserhealth.ca/vaccinebooking.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health residents can book by phone at 1-877-587-5767
  • Island Health residents can book by phone at 1-833-348-4787
  • Interior Health residents can book by phone at 1-877-740-7747
  • Northern Health residents can book by phone at 1-844-255-7555

In most of B.C., seniors who are 85 and older can begin to book appointments on March 15 for dates starting March 22. Seniors who are 80 and older can begin booking on March 22 for dates starting March 29. This may differ by health authority – Northern Health residents will not have clinics operating full time in most communities.

For more information:


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up – Clearwater Times

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After months of anticipation, vaccination clinics for B.C.’s oldest residents and Indigenous seniors are set to begin booking appointments. Here’s what you need to know.

All health authorities in B.C. will begin booking appointments starting at 7 a.m. PST on Monday (March 8) for seniors who are age 90 and up, Indigenous seniors age 65 and up and Indigenous Elders. Vaccination appointments will begin on March 15.

Dozens of sites will be open across the province, with some operating as drive-thrus. Mobile teams will help vaccinate seniors who cannot leave their homes, while community groups will help those who cannot book on their own.

Before you call Monday morning, make sure you are (or are calling for):

  • a senior aged 90 and up
  • an Indigenous senior aged 65 and up
  • an Indigenous Elder

Booking starts at 7 a.m. PST on Monday and runs 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Online booking in Fraser Health will be available around the clock. Call centre operators will ask for legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number, phone number and an email address. They will not ask for banking or credit card information, nor for social insurance numbers.

To book an appointment:

  • Fraser Health residents can book by phone at 1-855-755-2455 or online at www.Fraserhealth.ca/vaccinebooking.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health residents can book by phone at 1-877-587-5767
  • Island Health residents can book by phone at 1-833-348-4787
  • Interior Health residents can book by phone at 1-877-740-7747
  • Northern Health residents can book by phone at 1-844-255-7555

In most of B.C., seniors who are 85 and older can begin to book appointments on March 15 for dates starting March 22. Seniors who are 80 and older can begin booking on March 22 for dates starting March 29. This may differ by health authority – Northern Health residents will not have clinics operating full time in most communities.

For more information:


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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