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 16, 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 15:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 116,075 (10,052 active cases)
• New cases since April 13: 1,205
• Total deaths: 1,524 (3 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 409
• Intensive care: 125
• Total vaccinations: 1,235,863 doses administered (87,820 second doses as of April 14)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 16,217
• Recovered: 104,331
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 12

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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: 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: 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 set to release number of COVID-19 cases and deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are expected to provide an update on the pandemic situation in B.C.

5 a.m. – More virulent variants continue to surge in B.C., up to 60 per cent of cases, and growing

Coronavirus variants now make up about 60 per cent of new cases in B.C., as infections continued an exponential surge in recent weeks, according to statistical and computer-modelling information released by the province on Thursday.

The predominant variants in B.C. are the B.1.1.7 variant identified in the U.K. and the P.1 variant identified in Brazil, each accounting for about half of variant virus cases. There is a small amount of the B.1.351 variant first detected in South Africa in the province as well.

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The variants, mutations of the virus that cause COVID-19, are a concern because they spread more easily and can cause worse outcomes.

In the past several weeks, case numbers in B.C. have been hitting record highs of 1,000 or more each day.

Hospitalization cases have also been on the rise, particularly in the 40 to 59 age group, although death rates have not risen.

In part, that’s because older people, who are more susceptible to becoming sicker and dying have been vaccinated at higher rates. More than 75 per cent of people aged 80 and over gave been vaccinated and about two thirds of people 70 to 79. Nearly 27 per cent of the eligible population of 4.3 million has received a first dose of one of three vaccines available in the province.

-Gord Hoekstra

5 a.m. – Risk of transmission in schools low, said officials, as hospitalizations hit record high

The risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools is low, with the vast majority of cases among students and staff acquired outside of school, according to figures presented Thursday by B.C. health officials.

Despite increasing overall case counts, B.C.’s provincial health officer showed no indication that she’s considering school closures. Ontario has shut down in-person learning indefinitely and Calgary moved Grade 7 to 12 students to remote learning for two weeks.

“There’s a lot of talk about closing schools. We are not seeing that as an issue,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said, adding that despite exposure notices, which can be “distressing,” data shows structured settings like schools with COVID-19 safety protocols have been successful at curbing infections.

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Henry said cases among children tend to rise when they are not in schools, as during the spring and Christmas breaks.

Henry cited transmission studies among staff and students in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions that tracked exposures over two separate time periods using detailed contact tracing.

-Cheryl Chan

12 a.m. –More than 300 overseas travellers with COVID arrived in Canada over six weeks this year

More than 300 air travellers arriving at Vancouver airport over six weeks this year tested positive for COVID-19 when they landed, according to data released by a federal health agency.

From Feb. 22, the first day Canada required international arrivals by air to quarantine for three days at a hotel, until April 7, 23,252 passengers landed at YVR and were tested for the coronavirus, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In total 306, or 1.3 per cent, tested positive, said Tammy Jarbeau in an email.

That worked out to almost seven passengers a day.

“The majority of these travellers that arrived by air were staying at a government-authorized accommodation when they tested positive and were then redirected to a designated quarantine facility or another suitable location to limit their interaction with other Canadians,” she said.

The agency also reported that over the course of the pandemic, police in B.C. followed up with 8,300 travellers who were required to quarantine for 14 days at home, she said.

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-Susan Lazaruk

12 a.m. – 1,205 new cases, three additional deaths

Health officials reported more than 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Out of the 1,205 new cases, 301 were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 730 in Fraser Health, 38 in Vancouver Island Health, 69 in Interior Health, and 66 in Northern Health. One case was reported in a person who normally lives outside of Canada.

The new cases bring active cases in the province to 10,052. Hospitalizations continue to rise. There are 409 people in hospital, with 125 in intensive care.

There were three additional deaths reported, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 1,524 since the pandemic began.


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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