B.C. health officials will be sharing the latest information on COVID-19 cases, deaths and outbreaks at a live briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will also be speaking on the province’s most recent COVID-19 modelling data.
The announcements will be streamed live on this page and on CTV News Vancouver Island at 3 p.m.
On Tuesday, health officials announced 444 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths related to the virus.
Of those cases, nine were found in the Island Health region, where 65 cases are currently active.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday – North Island Gazette
B.C. reported 407 new cases of COVID-19 province-wide on Tuesday, maintaining a steady rate of infection spread that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry warns is still too high.
The situation in long-term care continues to improve, with no new outbreaks as public health officials focus their remaining supplies of available vaccines on senior facilities and front-line health care workers. There were 14 more deaths reported Tuesday, with 313 people in hospital, 71 in intensive care.
Of the new cases, 169 were discovered in the Fraser Health region, which has seen a significant decline in infections in the past few weeks. There were 124 new cases in the Vancouver Coastal region, 54 in Interior Health, 38 in Northern Health and 22 on Vancouver Island.
Like other provinces, B.C. is running low on vaccine as Pfizer expands its production facility in Belgium. Henry reported Monday that the time between doses will be extended to 42 days for some people to allow public health officials to focus the remaining vaccines on hand to complete long-term care immunizations. Available vaccine is also being reserved to deal with coronavirus outbreaks in acute-care wards.
There have been more than 122,000 doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine administered in B.C., with seniors in the community prioritized once long-term care and assisted living residents and staff have some protection from the novel coronavirus.
“The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be,” Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Jan. 26. “We are asking for everyone’s help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province.”
Be prepared for more travel, continued business restrictions due to COVID-19 variants: Hinshaw – Calgary Herald
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While those numbers have been trending down for several weeks, the spectre of the wider spread from the variants has led the province to delay any plans to end a lockdown on bars, restaurants and gyms that dates to mid-December.
That’s led members of the hospitality industry to urge the province to provide financial support for businesses facing desperate times.
“Please present to your caucus our ask as an industry for additional financial support that would mirror what has been executed in Ontario that has helped immensely in keeping their hospitality industry alive,” Alberta Hospitality Association president Ernie Tsu wrote in an email to Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Richard Gotfried on Tuesday.
He said the sector is seeking provincial grants to ensure 100 per cent rebates on property tax and utilities costs retroactive to December, when the latest lockdown went into effect.
And he repeated his plea for the province to produce data showing the role the industry plays in spreading the virus.
“With the current data still not available to our industry as to why we are still locked down, this financial aid would help to bridge the anxiety and mental health issues which are now starting to truly increase on a day to day basis,” wrote Tsu, who owns the Trolley 5 Brew Pub in Calgary.
But on Tuesday, Hinshaw said those restrictions need to remain in the face of the threat posed by the new COVID-19 variants.
“I know many Albertans and impacted businesses are eager to reopen, this is understandable and I wish it was not necessary to keep the restrictions in place a little while longer,” she said.
“The rise of the new variants also make it vital we not move too quickly, which could have dire consequences for our health system and our health,” she said.
Frustration over restrictions has led to increased disinformation and several incidents in recent weeks of enforcement and health-care officials being “mistreated, verbally abused or treated disrespectfully while carrying out their duties,” she said.
“We need to remember that COVID is the enemy, not one another.”
Another 14 people die from COVID-19 in B.C., health officials report 407 new cases – CHEK
British Columbia health officials reported 407 new cases, including 22 in Island Health, and 14 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours on Tuesday.
The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 65,234 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,168.
One of the deaths reported by the province was on Vancouver Island, bringing the total number of people who have died from the virus in the Island Health region to 19.
Of the new cases recorded, 124 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 169 are in Fraser Health, 22 are in Island Health, 54 are in Interior Health, and 38 are in Northern Health.
There are currently 4,260 active cases in the province, 313 people in hospital — 71 of whom are in intensive care — 6,450 and people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.
A total of 58,352 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 122,359 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, 4,105 of which are second doses.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said in a statement that the number of daily cases is much “higher than we want it to be” and urged everyone to bring the infection rate down.
“The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be. We are asking for everyone’s help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province.”
Today’s data was released in a statement to the media.
Of the active cases, 22 are on southern Vancouver Island, 157 on central Vancouver Island and 16 on northern Vancouver Island.
Over the course of the pandemic, the Island Health region has reported 1,477 cases.
Island Health says their figures somewhat differ from the figures released by the provincial government due to “differences in timing of reporting across laboratory and public health data sources.”
More COVID-19 information
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, public health contacts affected school community members directly. Regional health authorities also post-school notifications on their websites, providing the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure) for impacted schools.
The Island Health school site can be found here.
Provincial mental health and anxiety support can be found at www.bouncebackbc.ca
Island Health’s COVID-19 data breaks down north, central and south Island case counts and lists the number of days since any new lab-diagnosed cases. You can find the data here along with any public exposures.
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