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What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Jan. 22 –




  • Premier John Horgan will join health officials this morning to talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
  • As of Thursday, 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C.
  • The premier has announced that B.C. will not restrict interprovincial travel at this time.
  • On Thursday, 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths were reported.
  • There are currently 4,450 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C.
  • 309 people are in hospital, with 68 in the ICU.

Long-awaited details on B.C.’s plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be released Friday morning.

Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead of the B.C. immunization rollout, are scheduled to provide more information during a public announcement at 10:30 a.m. PT.

The province’s immunization program has been complicated by a hiccup in vaccine supply from Pfizer-BioNTech. Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed because of production issues.

So far, 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses. 

Friday’s announcement follows news that B.C. will not ban non-essential travellers from other provinces in order to halt the spread of COVID-19. 

Thursday evening, Horgan said that the government has explored its legal options and it’s not possible to restrict travel at this point, but that could change if B.C. sees an increase in transmission caused by interprovincial visitors.

On Thursday, B.C. health officials announced 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths.

In a written statement, Henry and Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 309 people, 68 of whom are in intensive care. Hospitalizations are now at their lowest level since Nov. 28

A total of 1,119 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Henry and Dix said a new community cluster has been detected in and around Williams Lake in the central Interior. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, and six outbreaks have been declared over.


What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 8 p.m. PT on Thursday, Canada had reported 731,450 cases of COVID-19, and 18,622 total deaths.

A total of 67,099 cases are considered active.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they’re mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or o​​​​​​ther extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.

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Ontario reports 22 more COVID-19 deaths, daily cases top 1,200 – CityNews Toronto



Ontario says another 22 people have died as a result of COVID-19 as new cases of the virus top 1,200.

The number of people who have died from the virus in the province now sits at 7,046.

Provincial health officials reported 1,250 new cases on Friday, a rise from 994 cases the day before.

It’s the highest case count since Feb. 26 when 1,258 cases were reported. It is also the first time since Tuesday that daily cases surpassed the 1,000 mark.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are 337 new infections in Toronto, 167 in Peel Region and 129 in York Region.

York Region reported a rise of more than 60 cases compared to the previous day, when 64 cases were confirmed.

The province also reported a test positivity rate of 2.3 per cent, which is an increase from 2.1 per cent on Thursday. At the start of the week, the positivity rate was 3.1 per cent.

Health officials also said 1,159 more people have recovered from the virus in the province.

As of the latest provincial update, 643 people remain in hospital due to the virus, with 280 of those patients in intensive care.

More than 64,700 people were tested for the virus since the previous update on Thursday.

Another record 35,886 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administrated in the province. A total of 820,714 doses have been administered overall.

An additional 155 cases of variants of concern were also confirmed in the province, bringing the provincial total up to 833. Of those cases, 799 are of the variant first discovered in the United Kingdom, while 31 are the variant first found in South Africa and three of the variant first reported in Brazil.

Ontario has reported 306,007 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began last March, and of that total, 288,583 cases have been resolved.

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Ontario reports surge in new COVID-19 infections with more than 1200 cases added – CTV Toronto



Ontario is reporting a spike in new COVID-19 infections with more than 1,200 cases logged Friday.

The 1,250 new infections mark an increase over Thursday’s report when 994 cases were logged.

This is the first time in three consecutive days that the province has added more than 1,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

Since the pandemic began, Ontario has recorded 306,007 cases of COVID-19, including 288,583 recoveries and 7,046 deaths related to the disease.

Of those deaths, 22 occurred in the last 24-hour period, according to the province.

There are currently 1,0378 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario. 

Ontario labs completed 64,748 tests in the previous day, bringing the positivity rate to 2.3 per cent. 

The seven-day average for number of infections reported is 1,062, down from 1,114 a week ago today. 

This is a breaking news story. More to come.


NOTE: The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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Active COVID-19 infections in B.C. rise to seven-week high – Vancouver Is Awesome



Vaccinations have helped reduce the number of outbreaks at seniors’ homes, but B.C. has a long way to go until they start to have any widespread effects. 

The number of British Columbians actively fighting COVID-19 infections rose by 89 overnight, to 4,743 – the highest number since January 13, more than seven weeks ago. This came in part because another 564 B.C. residents were diagnosed in the past day as having the virus that has spawned the global pandemic. 

The number of those with serious infections is also on the rise. Those hospitalized rose by two overnight to 248, which is the highest number since February 5 – almost four weeks ago. Of those, 63 individuals are sick enough to be in intensive care units. When all newly added hospital beds across the province are included, B.C. hospitals are at 74.4% capacity, Health Minister Adrian Dix said March 4. 

Another four people have died from the virus overnight, raising the province’s death toll from the virus to 1,376.

Some good news is that 76,289 people, or more than 92.5% of the 82,473 individuals in the province who have contracted the virus since January 2020, have recovered. 

Health officials are closely monitoring another 8,659 people for symptoms because they have had known exposure to individuals identified as carrying the virus. That is the highest number since January 8, almost eight weeks ago.

Here is the breakdown of where the 564 new cases are located:
• 168 in Vancouver Coastal Health (29.8%);
• 279 in Fraser Health (49.5%);
• 35 in Island Health (6.2%);
• 36 in Interior Health (6.4%); and
• 46 in Northern Health (8.1%).

Some cases of COVID-19 are identified as being variants of concern because they are mutations from the main strain of COVID-19. B.C. detected 46 more of these cases overnight, for a total of 246. There is a lag in detecting many of these cases. 

Of the known variant infections, only 16 are active cases, said provincial health officer Bonnie Henry.

She sounded optimistic about B.C.’s vaccine roll-out, even though many have criticized it for being too slow.

“We’re getting our regular supply of vaccines and more vaccines are on the way,” she said. “We know that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is in for final review with Health Canada. We don’t yet know when it might be available but that will be another tool, another piece that we can add to our toolkit.”

Health officials launched a new vaccination strategy earlier this week, whereby they plan to provide an interval of up to 112 days between doses in order to give more people first doses of vaccine as soon as possible. 

That is why 8,922 of the 9,052 vaccine doses that went into British Columbians’ arms in the past day were first doses, with only 130 doses going to individuals as second doses. 

In total, 212,115 British Columbians have received at least one dose of a vaccine since the first dose was administered on December 16, more than 11 weeks ago. Of those, 86,746 have had second doses. 

Dix recently said that around 98% of seniors in care homes have had at least one dose of vaccine, and Henry on March 4 followed that up by saying that an easing of restrictions on visitors need not come after all residents and staff have had second doses. She did not, however, give a timeline for when she would ease restrictions. 

Good news is that there were no new outbreaks of COVID-19 identified at seniors’ homes in the past day.

None of the nine active outbreaks at seniors’ homes is in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. 

The five active outbreaks at seniors’ living facilities in Fraser Health are:
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Chartwell Carrington House in Mission;
• Revera Sunwood in Maple Ridge;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster; and
• Shaughnessy Care Centre in Port Coquitlam.

Royal City Manor is by far the largest of those current outbreaks, as it has had a total of 133 cases and 31 deaths, according to government data up until March 2. 

The outbreak at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay is the only outbreak at a seniors’ home in the Island Health region.

The only outbreak at such a facility in the Northern Health region is at the Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert.

The two active outbreaks at seniors’ living facilities in Interior Health are now at Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops, and The Florentine in Merritt.

There are also eight active COVID-19 outbreaks at B.C. hospitals. They include:
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Dawson Creek and District Hospital in Dawson Creek;
• Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody;
• Kelowna General Hospital in Kelowna;
• Mission Memorial Hospital in Mission;
• Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey; and
• Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver.


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