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Nearly all of B.C.’s COVID-19 deaths occurred since Nov. 1 – Vancouver Sun

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A Postmedia analysis of COVID-19 deaths in B.C. found that almost 80 per cent of coronavirus deaths happened in the past three months.

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New cases of COVID-19 have fallen dramatically since a peak in November of 948 reported cases in a single day. Coronavirus deaths, which typically lag cases by a few weeks, are declining as well.

In the first two weeks of February, however, the provincial health authority was still typically reporting between six and 10 deaths per day.

In the Northern and Interior health authorities, which reported few cases and almost no deaths from March to October, nearly every death has come since Nov. 1. Northern B.C. suffered a surge in cases this winter, many of which were tied to outbreaks at large industrial work sites. On Jan. 12, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a public health order to limit the number of workers allowed at several large work sites in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.

Fraser Health, which experienced the largest surge in cases of any region over the winter, reported almost 600 coronavirus deaths between Nov. 1 and Feb. 12 — more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in the region.

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Even in Vancouver Coastal Health, which reported the first COVID-19 death in the country, two-thirds of COVID-19 deaths have come since November.

Canada-wide, over half of all COVID-19 related deaths happened after Nov. 1, although the figure masks wide regional variations.

For western and prairie provinces, including B.C., winter has been the pandemic’s deadliest period. Over 80 per cent of deaths in provinces from Manitoba to B.C. have occurred since Nov. 1.

In Ontario and Quebec, which struggled to contain the virus and suffered the majority of COVID-19 fatalities in the country, deaths were split relatively evenly between the spring and winter waves.

The Atlantic region was less uniform. The majority of coronavirus-related deaths in New Brunswick occurred since the beginning of November but in Nova Scotia virtually all deaths were reported last spring. P.E.I. hasn’t reported any deaths so far, and in Newfoundland and Labrador there have been less than half a dozen — although the province is currently experiencing a significant outbreak in and around the St. John’s area.

In the Territories, which suffered no deaths — and very few cases — during the spring and summer, there were only a handful of deaths during the winter wave.

Since such a large proportion of COVID-19 deaths in Canada are among older Canadians, particularly those in care home facilities, it is expected that the number of deaths from the virus will decline as care home residents and staff are vaccinated.

ngriffiths@postmedia.com

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Two more deaths, 50 new cases reported in Manitoba Sunday – Cape Breton Post

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Two additional deaths in people with COVID-19 and 50 new cases were reported in Manitoba on Sunday, edging the province closer to another grim milestone.

A man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s were reported to have passed away, both from Winnipeg but neither linked to outbreaks. That brings the total number of deaths of Manitobans with COVID-19 to 895.

The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 3.7% provincially and 2.7% in Winnipeg. As of 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 50 new cases of the virus have been identified, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Manitoba to 31,859.

Case investigations continue and if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified.

Of the new cases, 21 each were from Winnipeg and the Northern region, with five from Southern Health, two from Interlake-Eastern and one from the Prairie Mountain Health region.

There are currently 1,194 active cases in the province including 393 from Winnipeg and 599 from Northern Manitoba. A total of 192 people remain in hospital including 72 with active COVID-19 as well as 26 intensive care unit patients with either active COVID-19 or are no longer infectious but still require critical care. The total number of confirmed B.1.1.7 variant of concern cases remains at five.

Laboratory testing numbers show 1,866 tests were completed Saturday, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February 2020 to 525,373.

Eligibility expanded

Last week, it was announced that members of the general population will be eligible to be immunized based on age. Eligibility was expanded Friday to include Manitobans 92 years and older and First Nation people aged 72 and older.

Previously, it had been 95 for the general population and 75 for First Nation people.

The new super site in the Southern Health health region will be located at the Access Event Centre in Morden. It is scheduled to open the week of March 12, subject to vaccine availability.

Appointments are currently available to be booked in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson.

Manitobans should check www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/eligibility-criteria.html to determine if they are eligible to make an appointment, as eligibility criteria expands regularly. If eligible, call (toll-free) 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC). Everyone who calls is screened to ensure they meet current eligibility criteria before booking an appointment.

In anticipation of greater vaccine supply beginning in April, Manitoba has posted a request for service agreements for organizations to provide Focused Immunization Teams (FITs) for vaccine administration across the province. These additional FITs will supplement existing capacity.

On Friday, the federal government authorized the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Manitoba will provide further information and updates on the use of this vaccine in its immunization plan in the coming days, as more details are available.

Vaccine Administration

Last week, an estimated 1,500 residents in 44 personal care homes were scheduled to receive their second doses of vaccine. By the end of the week, all eligible residents will have received their second doses, for the fullest protection possible from COVID-19 with more than 7,300 residents having received their second-dose to date. Moving forward, FITs will continue to conduct regular sweeps of these facilities to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine remains available to new residents.

FITs are also currently providing first-dose immunizations to residents of congregate living facilities. This week, they will visit about 120 locations located throughout the province with an estimated 4,800 residents.

As of Thursday, 71,469 doses of vaccine have been administered including 42,912 first doses and 28,557 second doses. Approximately 500 medical clinics and pharmacies have applied to be part of the immunization campaign.

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From lockdowns to spring break, provinces split on next steps in COVID-19 fight – rdnewsnow.com

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By Canadian Press

Feb 28, 2021 4:20 PM

Canada’s pandemic hotspots are taking diverging approaches to handling the COVID-19 crisis, as Ontario prepares to trigger new lockdown measures in two public health units and Quebec enters a week of spring break.

Ontario passed the 300,000 case mark today, as the province prepares to hit a so-called ’emergency brake’ in the Thunder Bay and Simcoe-Muskoka District health units on Monday in order interrupt transmission of COVID-19 at a time when new variants are gaining steam.

The province has also pushed back its spring break until April in an effort to limit community spread.

Prince Edward Island also implemented tighter health measures, barring indoor dining and halving retail and gym capacity as part of “circuit breaker” measures meant to stop a new outbreak in its tracks.

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From lockdowns to spring break, provinces split on next steps in COVID-19 fight – Chilliwack Progress – Chilliwack Progress

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Canada’s pandemic hotspots are taking diverging approaches to handling the COVID-19 crisis, as Ontario prepares to trigger new lockdown measures in two public health units and Quebec enters a week of spring break.

Ontario passed the 300,000 case mark today, as the province prepares to hit a so-called ‘emergency brake’ in the Thunder Bay and Simcoe-Muskoka District health units on Monday in order interrupt transmission of COVID-19 at a time when new variants are gaining steam.

The province has also pushed back its spring break until April in an effort to limit community spread.

Prince Edward Island also implemented tighter health measures, barring indoor dining and halving retail and gym capacity as part of “circuit breaker” measures meant to stop a new outbreak in its tracks.

Quebec, meanwhile, has allowed movie theatres, pools and arenas to open with restrictions in place to give families something to do as the traditional winter break kicks off, even as most other health rules remain in place.

Premier Francois Legault has said he’s worried about the week off and the threat posed by new more contagious variants, but says he’s optimistic about the province’s mass vaccination campaign which will begin inoculating older members of the general public on Monday.

Ontario reported 1,062 new infections linked to the pandemic today to push it over the 300,000 mark, while Quebec’s health minister said the situation in the province is stable with 737 new cases and nine additional deaths.

ALSO READ: Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

The Canadian Press


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