The COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa has been found in Canada, health officials confirmed.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, reported that Canada’s first case of the virus mutation had been detected in the province on Friday.
The infected individual is a “recent traveller,” Hinshaw announced on Twitter. She added that there is currently no evidence to suggest that the variant has spread to others.
Alberta has detected its first case of the South African variant of COVID-19. This case involved a recent traveller. The individual is in quarantine & there’s no evidence at this time that the virus has spread to others. (1/2)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) January 8, 2021
“I know any new case is concerning, but we are actively monitoring for these variants & working to protect the public’s health,” Hinshaw tweeted.
While this is the first case of the South African variant detected in Canada, to date there have been 14 confirmed cases of the UK variant in the country.
Data suggests that the COVID-19 UK variant can be transmitted faster than the initial strain of the virus. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the mutation causes more severe illness or that vaccines will be any less effective against it.
“Please continue to follow public health restrictions this weekend,” Hinshaw said.
“Every action we take matters in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and helping to keep each other safe.”
Gorillas are the first non-humans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – Maple Ridge News – Maple Ridge News
The San Diego Zoo has vaccinated nine great apes for the coronavirus after a troop of gorillas in its Safari Park became infected.
Officials say four orangutans and five bonobos received COVID-19 injections in January and February.
Three bonobos and a gorilla also are expected to receive the vaccine, which is experimental and not built nor suitable for human use.
The vaccinations followed a January outbreak of COVID-19 at the zoo’s Safari Park. Eight western lowland gorillas got the virus, probably by exposure to a zookeeper who tested positive for COVID-19.
The gorillas had symptoms ranging from runny noses to coughing and lethargy. But they are recovering.
Great news: Our gorilla troop is eating, drinking, interacting and on their way to a full recovery after the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. Full update: https://t.co/jb9pKVirTq pic.twitter.com/TuVGmlNtjl
— San Diego Zoo Safari Park (@sdzsafaripark) January 25, 2021
Quebec reports 749 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths as province expands vaccine access – Toronto Star
Quebec continued to escalate its vaccination drive over the weekend, reporting Saturday that the past 24 hours had seen it deliver a single-day high of nearly 20,000 shots to its growing list of eligible residents.
The 19,865 jabs administered on Friday mark the most the province has reported in a single day and come as vaccine shipments ramp up across Canada following numerous international shipment delays.
To date, provincial figures show 532,012 doses of vaccine have been administered out of a total of 638,445 received from the federal government.
Provincial health minister Christian Dube highlighted the upward trend in a tweet on Saturday.
“Vaccinations have [increased] over the last few days and will continue to [increase], with other regions in addition to Montreal beginning mass vaccination next week,” Dube wrote.
Until recently, Quebec has concentrated its vaccination effort on particular groups such as health-care workers, people living in remote regions and seniors in long-term care facilities.
The government began allowing members of the general public to schedule appointments to receive their vaccines recently, with eligibility varying by region. In Montreal and Laval, for example, people over the age of 70 can book appointments, while slots are restricted to people over 80 in other regions.
More regions are scheduled to expand vaccine access to those in different age groups starting next week.
In addition to the vaccine numbers, Quebec reported 749 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday along with 10 new deaths linked to the virus.
Hospitalizations across the province declined by 16 to 601 over the past 24 hours, while the number of patients in intensive care declined by two to 109.
Quebec’s case numbers have stabilized in recent weeks, prompting officials to relax restrictions in some regions.
Starting on March 8, areas such as Estrie and Capitale-Nationale will be designated as “orange zones,” meaning the provincewide curfew will be extended until 9:30 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. More businesses, including restaurants, will also be allowed to open at limited capacity.
Quebec premier Francois Legault has said that Montreal and the surrounding areas will not see any imminent changes in public health restrictions, warning that more contagious variants of the virus could prompt a sharp uptick in the number of cases in the region.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021.
Interior Health opens COVID-19 vaccine bookings Monday – Rossland Telegraph
Interior Health will open up its call centre on Monday for seniors to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
On Monday, seniors aged 90 and over, and Indigenous peoples aged 65 and over, can begin booking appointments by calling 1-877-740-7747. The call centre is open seven days per week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
We remind everyone to be vigilant against fraud. Call centres will never ask for financial information, credit card details, or social insurance numbers.
The call centre will only ask for:
- legal name
- date of birth
- postal code
- personal health number (PHN) from the back of B.C. driver’s licences or BC services cards, and
- current contact information, including an email address you or your family checks regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages.
The public is reminded to follow a staggered approach to prevent long waits and system overload.
- March 8, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1931 (90 years+) and Indigenous people born in or before 1956 (65 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment;
- March 15, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1936 (85 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment; and
- March 22, 2021: Seniors born in or before 1941 (80 years+) may call to book their vaccine appointment.
Immunization clinic locations will be confirmed at the time of booking, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15, 2021.
To learn about B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan and the Phase 2 rollout, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst
For additional information on the immunization campaign, visit www.gov.bc.ca/covidvaccine
For more information on what to expect when you go to get vaccinated for COVID-19, visit: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/getting-a-vaccine
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