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 March 9, 2021.

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 March 8:

Total number of confirmed cases: 84,569 (4,854 active)
• New cases since March 5: 1,462
• Total deaths: 1,391 (11 new)
• Hospitalized cases: 240
• Intensive care: 66
• Total vaccinations: 333,327 people are immunized, including 86,925 who have had a second dose.
• Cases under public health monitoring: 8,723
• Recovered: 78,237
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 18

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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 a list of all the vaccination clinics in B.C.

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

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

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

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.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

8:45 a.m. – Canada ranks worse than most developed countries in COVID-19 ‘misery index,’ study says

Canada has had a miserable time coping with COVID-19, according to new research that seeks to take the broadest possible measure of the country’s pandemic response, accounting for everything from mortality rates to economic malaise.

A “misery index” published by the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute on Monday suggests that overall well-being in Canada has suffered more than average, ranking 11th out of 15 countries on a scale of miserableness.

The index compiled 16 broad measures — mortality rates, visits to intensive-care units, the pace of vaccinations, lockdown stringency, GDP changes and unemployment, among other things — and rated Canada’s performance on a scale from zero to 100 in each category.

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While Canada was spared the worst ravages of the disease, our response to it has brought significant misery.

Overall, Canada ranked higher than other countries in terms of curbing the virus itself, but was among the worst on the question of economic impact and pandemic response, placing 13th and 14th, respectively. It placed 6th out of 15 countries in containing the virus.

– Jesse Snyder, Postmedia

8:30 a.m. – Birth rates are falling despite our close quarters

It’s commonly held that a power outage or a holiday can lead to a spike in birth rates nine months later. In fact, August has been noted as the month with the highest number of births — possibly thanks to December merrymaking.

And, so it would seem a baby boom might come during or after the pandemic-caused lockdown. After all, what were people to do indoors but pause, ponder and procreate?

Research shows that in addition to the economic downturn and employment uncertainty, “negative expectations about the future have all been associated with a postponement of childbearing plans.” Total fertility rates will be lower in the short term and will bump up again once things settle, according to the Vanier Institute of the Family.

More sex is insufficient for a baby boom to occur

As Australian population expert Dr. Liz Allen puts it, “Being stuck at home with a partner doesn’t meet the necessary ingredients for increased fertility rates. More sex is insufficient for a baby boom to occur.”

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The ovulation- and pregnancy-test company Stix found in a limited survey that 56 per cent of customers who purchased tests during the months of March and April 2020 were trying not to get pregnant, compared to pre-COVID times, when the majority were trying to start or extend their family.

–  Shari Kulha, Postmedia

12 a.m. – Increased family visits at long-term care homes, return to on-campus learning for B.C. post-secondary

The provincial health officer says she will loosen family visitation restrictions at long-term care facilities by the end of this month.

On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry also told the presidents of all public colleges and universities in B.C. to prepare for full return to on-campus learning in the fall.

However, Henry said an increasing percentage of variant cases within daily COVID-19 counts was worrying and community transmission needed to come down.

There were 144 COVID-19 variant test results over the past three days, leading to a jump in active variant cases from 16 to 87.

Henry said the bulk of the 394 variant cases identified in B.C. so far had been in Fraser Health — mostly the variant identified in the U.K., but also some of the variant identified in South Africa. These mutations of the original COVID-19 are more infectious.

— David Carrigg

12 a.m. – Phone lines jammed on busy first day of vaccination bookings

Of the 1.7 million calls that clogged B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination booking phone lines on the first day, more than 100 of them belonged to Vancouver resident Kanchan Dhugga who spent Monday desperately trying to get an appointment for her elderly grandparents.

It was an anxiety-inducing and exhausting experience shared by thousands of people who faced busy signals, dropped calls and long waiting times as health authority call centres became overwhelmed Monday.

Approximately 15,000 people did get appointments Monday, some being offered the vaccine that same day or later this week.

More than half of the bookings — 8,722 — were in the Fraser Health region which is the only health authority that allows people to book appointments online. Significant problems in the Vancouver Coastal Health area caused the system to crash for most of the day resulting in only 369 appointments booked, Health Minister Adrian Dix wrote on Twitter Monday night.

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In the Interior Health region, 2,456 people booked appointments Monday, while 2,395 people got through in Island Health and 1007 successful bookings in the Northern Health Authority.

Katie Derosa, Cheryl Chan

12 a.m. – Drop in number of travellers to B.C. described as ‘precipitous’

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to international and non-resident travel to B.C. dropping from nearly 19 million visitors in 2019 to just above one million in 2020, a B.C. tourism industry conference was told Monday.

Ken Peacock, Business Council of B.C. chief economist and vice president, described as “precipitous” the decline in non-resident travellers to B.C. in the nine-month period of April to December in 2020, compared to 2019 and several years earlier.

“When you see a chart like this, it’s almost eye-popping,” he said. “It is difficult to comprehend.”

Peacock was speaking on the first day of the five-day B.C. Tourism and Hospitality Conference held for the first time online.

Kevin Griffin


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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