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 12, 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 9:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 109,540 (9,574 active cases)
• New cases since April 8: 1,262
• Total deaths: 1,495 (2 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 332
• Intensive care: 102
• Total vaccinations: 1,025,019 doses administered
• Cases under public health monitoring: 15,673
• Recovered: 98,336
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 10

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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.

12:15 p.m. – Ontario schools to move online next week

Ontario schools will move to online learning next week.

Premier Doug Ford announced the decision today, saying community spread of COVID-19 is too high to risk having students congregate after the spring break.

He says the government will decide based on COVID-19 data when in-person classes can resume.

Spring break began Monday after the province postponed it in March to discourage travel during the pandemic.

The government had previously maintained that schools would reopen next week but unions had called for schools to close in the absence of stronger safety measures.

Schools in Toronto, Peel and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph health units moved classes online last week in light of rising case COVID-19 counts.

– The Canadian Press

10:30 a.m. – Those 55 and older can now register for vaccine

Health Minister Adrian Dix has unveiled an expedited age-based vaccination registration schedule that allows all British Columbians 55 years old and older to register today for their COVID-19 shot.

The new registration schedule follows with the 50-plus crowd (born 1971 or earlier) on Wednesday, the 45-plus cohort (born 1976 or earlier) on Friday, and 40-plus cohort,(born 1981 or earlier) on Monday, April 19.

Once registered, you will then wait to be contacted by health officials to book your vaccine appointment.

British Columbians can register online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated, by telephone through a provincial call centre at 1-833-838-2323 or in-person at the nearest Service B.C. location.

You must provide:
• First and last name;
• date of birth;
• postal code;‡
• personal health number (PHN) from the back of B.C. driver’s licences or BC services cards;
• current contact information, including an email address or phone number to receive texts.

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8 a.m. – British Columbians aged 60 and older can register for vaccine

B.C. residents aged 60 and older can now register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

People born in 1961 and earlier, Indigenous peoples 18 and older, and those who are “clinically extremely vulnerable” can now register online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated, by telephone through a provincial call centre at 1-833-838-2323 or in-person at the nearest Service B.C. location.

Those in the vulnerable category include people at higher risk from COVID-19 due to existing medical conditions, including transplant recipients and those with cancer and severe respiratory conditions.

B.C.’s age-based program runs parallel to its pharmacy-based vaccine drive for residents between the ages of 55 and 65.

Drop-in service may also be an option at more than 150 participating pharmacies.

Adults living and working in Whistler will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination starting April 12.

British Columbia moved to bump up its age-based vaccination plan by offering Oxford-AstraZeneca shots to Lower Mainland residents between the ages of 55 and 65.

The move came after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a pause on use of the same vaccine for anyone under 55 on the advice of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization over concerns about rare blood clots.

– The Canadian Press

7:45 a.m. – U.S. weekly death toll rises again

The weekly death toll from Covid-19 in the U.S. rose for the first time since February, topping 7,000 for the period ending Sunday.

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Fatalities are again averaging about 1,000 a day, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg show.

Meanwhile, infections have climbed for four straight weeks — the longest streak since November.

Two weeks ago, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of “impending doom” even though more people are getting vaccinated.

7:30 a.m. –  Most unvaccinated Canadians uncomfortable with AstraZeneca shot, poll shows

The majority of unvaccinated Canadians say they are uncomfortable with the idea of receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, according to a online survey from Angus Reid.

Canadian provinces, acting on a recommendation from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in people under age 55 last month after new data from Europe suggested the risk of blood clots is now potentially as high as one in 100,000 compared to the one in one million risk previously believed.

The news has had a significant impact on the public’s confidence in the vaccine with just 41 per cent of poll respondents saying they would be comfortable receiving the AstraZeneca jab.

Of the 54 per cent who responded they would be uncomfortable receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, 23 per cent said they would reject the brand outright.

– Scott Brown

6:20 a.m. – Canada set to receive 1 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses

The federal government is expecting Moderna to make good on a previously promised batch of 855,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses that were expected last week, but have yet to arrive.

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Those delayed doses along with a little more than one million shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine represent the extent of Canada’s expected vaccine deliveries this week, even as the number of new COVID-19 cases across Canada continues to surge.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing the federal government’s vaccination distribution effort, blamed the delay in Moderna’s planned delivery on a “backlog with quality assurance.”

“It’s part of the manufacturing process, at the tail end of the manufacturing process, that they want to go through the proper quality assurance processes, and there’s a backlog,” he said last week.

Officials have indicated there could be a similar delay in the delivery of 1.2 million doses from Moderna next week.

“It’s prudent planning on our part right now to bank on the last week of April,” Fortin said.

In comparison, Pfizer-BioNTech has been consistently delivering more than 1 million shots to Canada each week for more than a month, a trend that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

The Public Health Agency is not expecting any shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week. Canada has also approved a vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson, but it is not clear when the first of those doses will be delivered.

– The Canadian Press

SUNDAY

12 a.m. – More than 100 passengers arriving at YVR refuse government’s ‘mandatory’ hotel quarantine

More than 100 passengers arriving at Vancouver International Airport have refused to quarantine at a government-authorized hotel since the “mandatory” three-day quarantine was introduced on Feb. 22.

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This comes as the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 23 flights either departing or arriving at Vancouver International Airport with a COVID-sick passenger on board since the start of April.

Public Health Agency of Canada spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau said the agency was aware of 106 tickets that had been issued to travellers arriving in B.C. without having booked a GAA (government-authorized accommodation) hotel “and subsequently refusing to go to one” since Feb. 22.

Those people face up to $3,000 a day in fines, Jarbeau said. A three-night stay in a GAA costs around $2,500.

It isn’t known how many of those 106 tickets will be paid or how many may be challenged in court.

– Susan Lazaruk and David Carrigg

1 p.m. – COVID-19: Vaccinations available to all adults living or working in Whistler

Vancouver Coastal Health is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults living or working in Whistler beginning Monday.

The VCH will host vaccination clinics for those aged 18 to 54 at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Appointments, which must be made online at www.vchcovid19vaccine.com, can be booked starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Residents will have to provide proof of their permanent address in Whistler with a B.C. Driver’s Licence or a credit card statement with their Whistler address. Those working but not living in Whistler will be required to present a recent pay stub confirming their local employment.

The resort municipality has been a hotspot for COVID-19 transmission and ground zero for the ultra-contagious P.1 variant in British Columbia.

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– Scott Brown

12:30 p.m. – Man fired after not wearing mask for ‘religious reasons’ has human rights complaint dismissed

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed the complaint of a man who was fired from a job for refusing to wear a mask due to religious reasons.

In his human rights complaint, the man, who had been contracted to work at a facility, said wearing a mask went against his religious creed.

“We are all made in the image of God, a big part of our image that we all identify with is our face. To cover‐up our face arbitrarily dishonors God,” he wrote.

The written ruling, which was published April 8, does not identify the worker or the employee.

The man also argued that B.C.’s mask requirement infringes on his “God-given ability to breathe.” He also claimed that masks do not protect anyone from viruses and, therefore, he cannot “live the lie.”

In its ruling, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal said the man had failed to establish that his objection to wearing a mask was religious in nature.

– Scott Brown

9 a.m. – Nine more B.C. flights added to BCCDC exposure list

The B.C. Centre of Disease Control has added nine more flights, including a Harbour Air float plane and an international flight arriving in Vancouver from India, to its COVID-19 exposure list.

The following flights all had a confirmed COVID-19 case:

  • April 8: Air Canada 8625, Winnipeg to Vancouver
  • April 7: Air Canada 233, Calgary to Vancouver
  • April 7: Air India 185, Delhi to Vancouver
  • April 6: WestJet 449, Calgary to Victoria
  • April 5: Air Canada 201, Calgary to Vancouver
  • April 4: Air Canada 104, Vancouver to Toronto
  • April 1: Air Canada 212, Vancouver to Toronto
  • April 1: Harbour Air YB238, Victoria to Vancouver
  • March 29: Air Canada 8419, Kelowna to Vancouver

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The BCCDC advises all passengers on a domestic flight with a COVID-19 case to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, while passengers arriving on international flights are required to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

According to the BCCDC, there have been 27 flights with confirmed COVID-19 cases that either arrived in or departed from British Columbia since March 29.


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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