COVID-19 update for Aug. 11: Here’s the latest on coronavirus in B.C.

Shante Abdo

Table of Contents Breadcrumb Trail LinksArticle contentAdvertisementArticle contentB.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERSAdvertisementArticle contentB.C. GUIDES AND LINKSAdvertisementArticle contentLATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.Cases keep rising in B.C.AdvertisementArticle contentFeds to roll out vaccine passports for foreign travelAdvertisementArticle contentInterior Health pleads with residents to get vaccinatedAdvertisementArticle contentAdvertisementArticle contentAdvertisementArticle contentVancouver Aquarium reopens MondayAdvertisementArticle contentMore than […]

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Aug. 11, 2021.

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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Aug. 11

• Total number of confirmed cases: 153,849 (3,585 active cases)
• New cases since Aug 10: 536
• Total deaths: 1,778 (one new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 72
• Intensive care: 29
• Total vaccinations: 3,809,806 received first dose; 3,296,603 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 148,446
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 8

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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

• COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

• COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

• COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

• COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

• COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

• COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

• COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

• COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

• COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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• COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

Cases keep rising in B.C.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has reported 536 new cases of COVID-19 over the past day – a jump of 141 cases. There are now 3,585 active cases of the disease.

Interior Health was responsible for less than half those cases – for the first time in a week – as the percentage of cases in the larger Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health begins to climb.

There are 72 people in hospital – a jump of one – and 29 of those are in intensive care (a jump of six).

There were 26,512 doses of vaccine administered on Tuesday, of which 85 per cent were second doses.

Henry said there were eight active COVID-19 outbreaks in health-care settings.

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Feds to roll out vaccine passports for foreign travel

Canada is working to create a digital vaccine passport that would allow citizens to travel abroad and it should be available in the next few months, government officials said on Wednesday.

Before the passport can be created Ottawa needs to agree on a common approach with the 10 provinces and three northern territories, which are responsible for inoculations against COVID-19.

It “is a key step forward in ensuring Canadians will have the documents they need once it is safe to travel again,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters.

The European Union has a vaccine passport system that allows people to travel freely within the region. A number of other countries are working on vaccine passports for both domestic use and international travel.

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Canada has one of the best inoculation records in the world. As of July 31, 81 per cent people aged 12 and over had received one shot and 68 per cent had been given two.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the program has to be done in co-operation with provinces and territories because they have the data that is needed.

He says if provinces want to use the same passport within their province that could be an option.

Quebec is introducing a provincial passport next month that will be required for people who want to attend public events, go to the gym, or frequent a restaurant or bar.

– Reuters and Canadian Press

Interior Health pleads with residents to get vaccinated

Interior Health, which continues to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in the Central Okanagan, is pleading with residents to get vaccinated.

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Since July 1, a total of 1,690 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Central Okanagan and the health region says the numbers — both daily cases and hospitalizations — continue to trend upwards.

“Over 95 per cent of COVID-19 cases related to this outbreak are among people not fully immunized and the majority are 40 years or younger,” said Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown.

As of Tuesday, there were 1,893 active cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health, which is more than half of B.C.’s total of 3,284.

One confirmed COVID-19 case was for a visitor to the Nelson & District Community Complex, said the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

The person participated in a camp program at the community centre on Aug. 5 and 6. Anyone who may have been exposed is being contacted directly, it said.

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Interior Health interim chief medical health officer Dr. Sue Pollock is calling all residents, especially people under 40 and those working in health care or the service sector, to get immunized.

“It is important for everyone, even people who may have been sick with COVID-19 earlier this year, to get immunized because the vaccine protects you against the different strains of the virus,” Pollock said.

Click HERE for a list of all Interior Health COVID-19 immunization clinics.

Interior Health said safety restrictions introduced last week for Central Okanagan  — which include mandatory masks indoors, closing bars and nightclubs and limits on gatherings — will remain in place until further notice.

The health authority also says non-essential travel to and from Central Okanagan should be avoided.

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– Scott Brown

Vancouver Aquarium reopens Monday

The Vancouver Aquarium has announced that it will reopen on Monday after 17 months of partial or complete closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aquarium says there will be a new 4D Theatre Experience and a new Marine Mammal Rescue Exhibit.

“We are very delighted to be reopening. The Vancouver Aquarium has been one of the top attractions in this region and a leader in marine mammal rescue for over 60 years,” said the aquarium’s executive director Clint Wright, in a statement Wednesday.

He added that the goal for every rescued marine animal is to treat, rehabilitate and return it to the wild as soon as possible. Animals deemed unreleasable because they wouldn’t survive in the ocean stay at the aquarium.

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At the interactive 4D theatre patron can watch the film Octopus from the BBC Series Blue Planet II.

Guests will have to book tickets in advance through an online guest reservation system at www.vanaqua.org.

Staff are also recommending masks for all visitors 12 years of age and older who are not fully vaccinated.

– Tiffany Crawford

More than 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses now stockpiled in Canadian freezers

Canada has gone from being desperate for every dose of vaccine it could get to stockpiling millions of them in freezers across the country.

Data on vaccine deliveries, distribution and injections provided by Health Canada and the provinces show almost 22 million doses have been delivered but not yet used.

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That includes a national “reserve” of nearly 10 million doses, and more than 11.7 million doses delivered to provincial and territorial governments that have yet to be administered.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says how many of those doses can be considered excess and available for donation to other countries is still up in the air.

Almost 23.6 million Canadians are now fully vaccinated, or 71.3% of all people at least 12 years old.

– The Canadian Press

Some blood cancer patients don’t make COVID antibodies

One in four patients currently fighting cancers of the blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes did not produce antibodies after a double dose of one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and published in the journal Cancer Cell, found that patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma were the least likely to exhibit the presence of antibodies following inoculation. Multiple myeloma patients were at the other end of the spectrum, generating the most antibodies in the wake of two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

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“Patients who fail to make antibodies in response to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be vulnerable to COVID-19 breakthrough infections and need to continue taking precautions to avoid exposure to COVID-19,” said Lee S. Greenberger, chief scientific officer at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), according to Healio.

At least 138,000 Canadians are living with — or are in remission from — a form of blood cancer, according to LLS.

– Postmedia

WHO-led trial to study three anti-inflammatory drugs for COVID-19 patients

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday a clinical trial in 52 countries would study three anti-inflammatory drugs as potential treatments for COVID-19 patients.

“These therapies – artesunate, imatinib and infliximab – were selected by an independent expert panel for their potential in reducing the risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients,” it said in a statement on the Solidarity PLUS trial.

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Artesunate is already used for severe malaria, imatinib for certain cancers, and infliximab for diseases of the immune system such as Crohn’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

The original Solidarity trial last year found that all four treatments evaluated – remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon – had little or no effect in helping COVID patients.

So far, only corticosteroids have been proven effective against severe and critical COVID-19.

– Reuters

American tourists welcomed by businesses but some are wary about COVID rates

A planeload of passengers — double vaccinated and each carrying a negative COVID test — can fly into an expanded number of Canadian airports from the U.S. starting this week, but a boatload of similarly screened passengers from Seattle are being denied landing in Victoria.

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“We think it’s wholly unfair,” said David Gudgel, CEO of the Victoria Clipper of Seattle, which us eually ferries 250,000 passengers a year between Seattle and Victoria. “We were very disheartened to hear that on Monday. I don’t understand how (ferries) are different from airlines.”

He said Transport Canada approved the sailings but the Canada Services Border Agency, acting on a “ministerial order,” denies landing for passenger ships but not recreational boaters.

Gudgel also said CBSA isn’t able to say when or if the ban will be lifted and “timing is critical here” because the summer season is half over. And if the Clipper doesn’t resume service before the end of the tourist season, it’s likely his company won’t be able to operate during the off-season.

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CBSA didn’t return a request for comment.

Canada on Monday reopened its border to non-essential U.S. travellers who are fully vaccinated and have a negative test result within 72 hours of entering Canada, leading to some U.S. citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada for the first time since the border was closed in March 2020.

Tourism organizations and business groups in B.C. welcomed the reopening, but some said it was too early to tell how many American visitors would return. And others worried about the potential spread of COVID as Washington state had been hit with a resurgence of cases caused by the Delta variant, including in Point Roberts.

Read more HERE.

-Susan Lazaruk

COVID cases are rising as Canada reopens — no surprise there. The bigger question is, what’s next?

Epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite isn’t surprised that COVID-19 infections are rising in Ontario. The situation in the province, and several others, is panning out exactly as expected.

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“We’re reopening,” Tuite said. Humans are engaging with one another again — indoor dining, gyms — and the expectation was always that confirmed infections would increase, which is part of the reason the response in Ontario has been so measured, she said.

“We didn’t jut rip the Band-Aid off and go straight from stage zero to step three,” said Tuite, of the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “We took our time.”

The bigger question for Tuite: How does this unfold in the coming weeks? “Because as much as we have a relatively highly vaccinated population, we don’t have enough vaccination to completely stop transmission, and we’re starting to interact more.”

Famed epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who helped the globe eradicate smallpox, tweeted on Sunday that the Delta variant is one of the most infectious viruses in history. While 61 per cent of Canadians 12 and older are fully vaccinated (as are 73 per cent of adults in Ontario 18 and older), “we’ve got to get to 85, 90 per cent of the population immunized before we can have the conversation about herd immunity,” said University of Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan. “We’re nowhere near that.”

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“Epidemics are all about susceptible populations, and who’s susceptible? The unvaccinated,” he said.

Read more HERE.

-Sharon Kirkey

Look up the latest case counts and vaccination rates in your neighbourhood as B.C. enters 4th wave

COVID-19 case rates continue to increase in the province as the Delta variant — the most dominant variant in the province — drives a fourth wave in B.C.

According to the latest data released by health authorities on Aug. 10, the majority of B.C.’s local health authorities experienced a rise in COVID-19 cases compared to last week, although the increases were largest in the interior, particularly in the Okanagan.

There were five COVID-19 related deaths over the weekend, for a total of 1,777 COVID-19 deaths in B.C.

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Read more HERE.

-Nathan Griffiths

B.C. reports 395 new cases, no deaths

B.C. health officials reported 395 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday with no additional deaths.

The Interior Health region, which accounts for more than half of the province’s 3,284 active cases, reported 187 new cases on Tuesday, while Fraser Health, the province’s largest health region, reported 100 new cases.

As the daily case counts grow, so do the number of people getting seriously sick from the disease. As of Tuesday, 71 people were being treated in hospital for COVID-19, including 23 in intensive care. That compares to just 46 people in hospital and 19 in the ICU seven days earlier.

It’s highest number of hospitalizations since early July.

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The health ministry says 82.1 per cent of eligible British Columbians, those 12 years and over, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 70.6 per cent have been fully vaccinated with two doses.

B.C.’s pandemic death toll remains at 1,777.

U.S. eases COVID-19 travel advisory for Canada

The U.S. State Department has lowered the COVID-19 travel advisory for Canada to “Level 2 Exercise Increased Caution,” according to a statement on Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also eased Canada’s travel recommendation rating to Level 2.

Despite the change, the U.S. government shows no sign of easing restrictions for Canadian tourists, who are barred from entering United States land borders. On Monday, Canada opened to fully vaccinated American tourists for the first time in 16 months.

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Canada barred all leisure travel from the U.S. in March 2020 because of the cornavirus pandemic. But as of Aug. 9, fully vaccinated Americans are able to enter the country.

-Reuters


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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