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 April 8, 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 the latest figures given on April 7:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 106,985 (8,728 active including 266 variant cases)
• New cases since April 6: 997
• Total deaths: 1,491 (2 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 330
• Intensive care: 105
• Total vaccinations: 858,592 people have received vaccine, including 87,504 who have received a second dose.
• Cases under public health monitoring: 14,602
• Recovered: 96,626
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 14

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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 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.

5 a.m. – High case counts have B.C. health minister bracing for impact on hospitals

Provincial hospitals are prepared to receive higher numbers of COVID-19 patients, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Wednesday, not that he is comfortable with the situation.

“We’re both prepared for it and very concerned about it,” Dix said, considering that B.C.’s experience is that five per cent of people who contract COVID-19 wind up in hospital. “Obviously, if we keep seeing high case loads, it’s just by definition, five per cent of 1,000 (cases in a day) is more than five per cent of 750, so we’ve got to be prepared and we will be prepared for more hospitalizations.”

Dix spoke Wednesday in response to the alarm raised by physicians about a discouraging increase in numbers of COVID-19 patients reaching their ICUs, which is beginning to stress the overall system.

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On Wednesday, Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported that 330 COVID-19 patients were in hospital, an increase of two from Tuesday, with 105 in ICU, a jump of nine from Tuesday.

— Derrick Penner

5 a.m. – Expert weighs in on the safety of outdoor dining given the rise in variants

It’s finally patio season. With sunny days and temperatures expected to hit the mid-teens next week, pandemic-weary B.C. residents are likely to flock to their favourite restaurants and pubs to enjoy food and drinks outdoors.

But given the rise in the more contagious variants, how safe is it to eat on a patio?

Since the B.C. government last week ordered restaurants to suspend indoor dining for three weeks, there has been an online push to support struggling eateries by either dining on the patio or calling for takeout.

Experts advise concerned restaurant patrons to choose a well-ventilated patio over an enclosed outdoor space with walls.

The variants should be taken “very seriously” and some patios are riskier than others, said Dr. Michael Brauer, an expert in the built environment and human health at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health.

“I think the enclosed patios, the ones with walls and some kind of roof, can be worse than being indoors because they might not have the same ventilation system as in a building,” he said.

“I’m always shocked when I show up to a restaurant and they say they have a patio, but it is a space enclosed in plastic,” he said.

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However, under the provincial health order patios must have unrestricted air flowing from at least two sides. Patrons must be at least two metres away from each other or be separated by a barrier such as plexiglass.

Samantha Scholefield, program manager for the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said restaurants and pubs are struggling with no indoor service and so they are working really hard to ensure they have a safe environment.

12 a.m. – B.C. has close to 20 per cent of eligible residents immunized, says Henry

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 997 new cases of COVID-19 over the past day and two deaths.

She said there were 8,728 active cases of the disease (including 266 that are variants of concern) and that 330 people were in hospital. There are 105 people in intensive care.

With close to a million doses of vaccine now injected, Henry said B.C. had almost 20 per cent of its eligible population immunized.

“To date, 946,096 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,504 of which are second doses. This is almost 20 per cent of those who are eligible for a vaccine in B.C.,” she said.

Henry said second doses of vaccine would be administered up to four months after the first, as per National Advisory Committee on Immunizations guidelines released on Wednesday.


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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