A Tsawwassen woman is pleading with the public to take the pandemic seriously, after reeling from her own unimaginable loss due to COVID-19. Melissa Hance told CTV News that her 46-year-old husband Reid was healthy, active and had no underlying health conditions when he suddenly died at home days after contracting the coronavirus in early April. Hance says she wants people to understand that COVID-19 can quickly turn deadly, even if someone is young and healthy. The entire family contracted COVID after a possible exposure at their kids’ sport camp during spring break. Hance said the family followed all protocols outlined by public health officials. “Within 24 to 48 hours, his symptoms just worsened and they were so severe, but he still said that his chest felt fine But on April 14, Reid died on the couch in his sleep, and was found by his wife.  Hance says the disease attacked her husband’s healthy lungs overnight and he died of bilateral pneumonia, as a result of COVID-19. “Everybody needs to take this seriously,” she said. “My loss, I hope, is for everyone else’s gain, for a kind of awareness that this does not happen to you because I do not wish this on anybody.”

 

Federal officials say there will be a massive ramp-up of COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada starting next week. On Thursday, Major general. Dany Fortin, who is responsible for the rollout of vaccines across the country, provided the latest dose distribution numbers, adding the increased supply will allow provinces to expedite their plans to get shots in arms. “We are set to receive 2 million doses weekly from Pfizer-BioNtech. In June, this is expected to increase to 2.4 million doses a week. This quarter, that will bring the total expected Pfizer- BionNTech doses to more than 24 million. Provinces have been planning on a significant increase in vaccines from June onwards, that’s been accelerated.”Moderna is also trying to finalize details on a more steady stream of shots after weeks of disruptions, and there are no firm dates on the next AstraZeneca shipment. However, on Wednesday the first shipment — 300,000 doses — of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is expected to release its recommendations for the shot before doses are shipped to the provinces for distribution.

 

B-C’s top doctor has apologized for confusion and frustration surrounding pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Fraser Health region this week. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the intent was to reach people living in transmission hot spots who may not have registered to get their shot through the province’s age-based immunization program. She says officials are regrouping to see what worked and what can be done better to distribute vaccine as more arrives in the coming weeks. Henry says expects that every adult in B-C who wants to be immunized will be able to get first dose by the middle of June.

 

B-C’s solicitor general is expected to announce more details today about enforcement of a travel ban aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 Mike Farnworth announced orders a week ago limiting non-essential travel between three regional zones until May 25th. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is likewise urging people to stick close to home, saying hospitals are strained in hard-hit areas. One more person has died after contracting COVID-19 and 853 others have been diagnosed with the illness

 

A sofa that fell off a vehicle on the highway caused a major pileup in Surrey yesterday morning  BC RCMP said the five-vehicle collision happened around 10 a.m. on Highway 99 westbound, near the Serpentine River overpass. Police and emergency crews were called to the scene, and one person was taken to hospital with injuries that were believed to be non-life-threatening, police said. Early in the investigation, police determined that the crash happened when “a vehicle braked hard to avoid some debris in its lane, causing the chain-reaction, rear-end crash.” The sofa  had apparently fallen off of another vehicle on the roadway. “Police are asking any witnesses to come forward who can provide details about the vehicle that lost the sofa, as police wish to speak with its driver/owner,” police said. They’re also asking anyone who may have dash cam video of the vehicle with the sofa on board, or any other information about the crash, to get in touch with them

 

BC’s housing minister says there may be some difficult conversations with campers being told to leave Vancouver’s Strathcona Park this morning. David Eby says people can either accept the housing they are offered or leave the park by 10 a-m, with the city’s park board handling enforcement. He says the spaces on offer are a mix of rooms in hotels the province has purchased, and shelters he pledged would be “good, dignified spaces.” Eby says about 200 people from the camp have already been housed, leaving about 40 people at the park.

 

Violent crime in Surrey dropped by 11 per cent in the first three months of 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to the latest Surrey RCMP crime statistics released Friday. That’s 1,695 cases reported in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 1,915 in the first quarter of 2020. All told, there was an overall drop of 21 per cent in Criminal Code offences in that time frame, from 11,151 to 8,846. Property-related crimes dropped by 28 per cent, and robberies by 41 per cent. According to these most recent stats from the Surrey RCMP, the detachment received 46,545 calls for help in the first quarter of 2021, with 1,813 of those involving mental health, 207 drug overdoses and 694 missing persons reports

 

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on the fourth floor of Vancouver’s Lions Gate Hospital after 16 patients and one staff member tested positive. Vancouver Coastal Health says all non-essential visits to that floor have been suspended, with the exception of compassionate end-of-life visits. It says strict infection prevention and control protocols are now in place and other parts of the hospital remain safe for those needing care. Meanwhile, Northern Health says a COVID-19 outbreak at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital has been declared over.

 

The Vancouver park board says it will do its best to avoid new encampments now a controversial camp in Strathcona Park has come to a close. The city says the majority of people who had been sleeping in the tent encampment have now moved into government-organized accommodations. It had set this morning as the deadline for campers to remove all tents set up after they were ordered to leave nearby Crab Park. They previously camped at Oppenheimer Park but the city says 184 people have been move into indoor accommodations and they are working with a small number of remaining people on other options.

 

The provincial government has announced plans to set up a hotline to report racist activities following a spike in such incidents throughout BC. It says it will consult with community stakeholders to develop the multilingual hotline for British Columbians to report racist incidents and obtain support services. The hotline will not involve police and data collected will be used to support future anti-racism initiatives, including legislation paving the way for race-based data collection. The government says it’s taking the step after anti-Asian hate crimes in Vancouver increased more than 700 per cent last year over 2019.

 

Vancouver Coastal Health says the number of cases of COVID-19 in the Whistler community dropped dramatically last week. A statement from the health authority says 17 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Whistler between April 19th and last Sunday — down from 72 reported one week earlier. Nearly 18-hundred cases of the virus have been recorded in Whistler since the start of the year. Vancouver Coastal says the “significant reduction”  last week can be attributed, in part, to the week-long vaccination clinic aimed at wiping out a COVID-19 hot spot by immunizing all Whistler Residents.