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What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Nov. 19 – CBC.ca

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THE LATEST:

  • B.C. health officials are expected to announce new restrictions in a daily update at 3 p.m. 
  • 762 new cases of COVID-19 were announced on Wednesday.
  • 10 people died from COVID-19 between Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • There are 6,861 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
  • 209 people are being treated in hospitals, including 58 in ICU.

B.C. health officials are scheduled to speak at 3 p.m. PT, and are expected to announce new COVID-19 restrictions in a bid to stop exponentially growing case numbers.

Premier John Horgan said travel restrictions in southwest B.C. would be extended while addressing the media on Tuesday, and called for all non-essential travel between provinces to be shut down.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced a record high of 762 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 10 more deaths.

Public health is now actively monitoring 9,871 people across the province who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. To date, there have been 24,422 confirmed cases of the disease in B.C. Hospitalizations in the province are also at an all-time high.

Wednesday’s update also includes three new outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living at Agecare Harmony Court Estates in Burnaby, Menno Home in Abbotsford and Peace Villa in Fort St. John.

Current restrictions target 2 health authority regions

The majority of the new cases announced Wednesday continue to be in the Lower Mainland, with 481, or 63 per cent, in the Fraser Health region and 210, or 28 per cent, in the area covered by Vancouver Coastal Health.

People who live in those regions are currently subject to strict restrictions that include a prohibition on socializing with anyone outside of their household. Non-essential travel in those health regions is currently restricted.

Those new orders were implemented for a two-week period on Nov. 7, but are expected to be extended.

Businesses and recreation centres that operate indoor group physical activities have been told to suspend these activities. That includes spin classes, yoga, group fitness, dance classes, and other group indoor activities that increase respiratory rates.

Restaurants remain open, but people have been advised not to visit them with people outside of their household.

Provincial health officials have said the priority is to keep community transmission low so schools can remain open. Over the weekend, three schools in the Fraser Health authority closed because of positive COVID-19 cases.

READ MORE:

Top COVID-19 stories today

What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of Thursday, Canada had 12,320 COVID-19 cases, with 51,409 of those considered active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 11,214.

Ontario is reporting 1,210 cases of COVID-19, with 361 new cases in the Peel Region, 346 in Toronto and 143 in the York Region, with possible lockdowns coming for those areas.

COVID-19 has killed 110 Albertans in November so far, making it the worst month of pandemic, while outbreaks have been declared at six oilsands sites.

Manitoba’s top doctor said Wednesday it’s a “very daunting time” in the province as health officials announced 11 additional deaths and 400 more cases of COVID-19. Hospitalizations in the province hit 249, with 40 people in intensive care.

In Nunavut, health officials reported 10 additional cases on Wednesday, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 70.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

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

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

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.
  • 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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B.C. call centres open to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for elderly, Indigenous – The Tri-City News

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VICTORIA — Call centres open today across British Columbia to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for some of the province’s most elderly residents.

B.C. says the vaccine call centres will open at 7 a.m. at the Fraser, Island, Interior, Northern and Vancouver Coastal health authorities to make appointments for people 90 years and older and Indigenous people who are 65 and older or identify as elders.

Health authorities announced dozens of sites Sunday where B.C.’s most elderly residents will go to receive their vaccine.

Island Health’s pandemic planner Victoria Schmid says people 90 years old and older and Indigenous people 65 and older who make appointments this week will get their COVID-19 vaccine next week.

She says those born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start to schedule their vaccine appointments March 22.

Schmid says the plan aims to have all people in the province 80 years and older and Indigenous people 65 and older receiving one shot of COVID-19 vaccine by April 12.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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B.C. announces vaccines sites ahead of booking COVID-19 shots appointments Monday – PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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Lines open Monday in B.C. to start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments for seniors – Burnaby Now

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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