British Columbia has recorded less than 500 daily cases of COVID-19 for almost two weeks as pandemic restrictions imposed in November continue indefinitely. The province had 449 cases yesterday, along with nine more deaths, and health officials will provide a briefing today on the latest statistics. Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say B-C is battling the COVID-19 pandemic alongside the overdose epidemic, but there’s no vaccine to bring an end soon to the deaths related to toxic drugs. More than 17-hundred people fatally overdosed last year as the province set an annual record for those fatalities, and nearly 13-hundred people have lost their lives to the pandemic since last March. The pandemic has pushed the number of overdose deaths in B.C. to a new record.
A man is dead after a shooting in Burnaby late Thursday. The RCMP says it happened just after 10 p.m. along McKee Street near Gilley Avenue. Homicide detectives are on scene near Byrne Creek Ravine Park alongside the Burnaby RCMP. Few details are being shared at this time. Just last week, another shooting in the area — on Portland Street — claimed the life of a 32-year-old man. IHIT said at the time the victim was known to police and that it was believed the shooting was a targeted hit. There has been no connection made between the Feb. 3 shooting and this latest incident.
The Ministry of Health says a COVID-19 outbreak is over at a Surrey long-term care facility that killed at least 17 people. The outbreak at Hilton Villa Seniors Community was declared over, according to the joint statement Thursday (Feb. 11) from Health Minister Adrian and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The outbreak was first declared on Dec. 10, Based on the ministry’s Feb. 11 weekly report on outbreaks in B.C. care homes, there were 123 cases and 17 deaths related to the outbreak. However, the report was compiled Feb. 9, two days before the outbreak was declared over. Of the cases, 76 were among residents and patients, while 47 were among staff. All of the deaths were among residents.
Lawyers for the province are heading to court today to ask for an injunction ordering three Fraser Valley churches not to hold in-person religious services in keeping with pandemic restrictions on gatherings. The request is linked to a constitutional challenge that was filed last month by the Riverside Chapel in Langley, the Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church in Abbotsford and the Free Reformed Church in Chilliwack. Their petition says restrictions on in-person services violate people’s rights and freedoms. Premier John Horgan says the province has had good relations with most faith leaders in connection with pandemic measures but health orders are in place to protect everyone in churches and in communities.
Federal officials are expected to release more details today on new quarantine rules for incoming travellers. That may include information on how a mandatory three-day quarantine will work and when it will take effect. The order requires anyone arriving in Canada to take a COVID-19 test at their own cost, and then pay an estimated two-thousand-dollars for a 72-hour stay at government-approved facility
A professor at B-C’s Simon Fraser University says snowbirds don’t think of themselves as vacationers. Valorie Crooks says snowbirds view heading south in the winter as part of their life or lifestyle. The prospect of quarantining in a hotel under new federal rules sent some snowbirds flying back to Canada early, while others are calling for exemptions. A Toronto man who flew home early from Mexico believes the latest travel rules are mainly aimed at preventing short trips by vacationers and says snowbirds should be recognized as a distinct group.
The losing streak for the Vancouver Canucks continues, they played against the Calgary flames last night and lost 3-1, this is the 6th game in a row that they lost. hopefully they start to turn things around, they’ll be playing 3 more games against the flames then moving on to play the Winnipeg jets, one of the few teams they’ve gotten a win against. Canucks and flames puck drop tomorrow at 7pm
Surrey RCMP is warning residents to not be blinded by love this Valentine’s Day, but instead be aware of potential romance scams often found on social media and dating apps. “There are plenty of fish in the sea and this Valentine’s Day, Surrey RCMP wants to help you avoid getting catfished,” police said in a news release issued Thursday (Feb. 11). Romance scams, also known as catfishing, involve expressing false romantic intentions towards a victim to gain their trust and affection and then using that trust to obtain money, access to bank accounts or credit cards, police explained. Surrey RCMP said victims of romance scams are commonly asked to send money to pay for travel, which never happens. So this valentines day, be careful who you are talking too, and dont send anyone money
Both provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are urging people not to let down their guard
against COVID-19 this Family Day long weekend. Dix says it’s a really important time in the pandemic where infection rates need to be contained. There are 445 new cases and 10 more deaths in the province. Henry says there’s also been a new variant of concern from Nigeria found in a person who travelled there, while there are 29 infections with the variant found in the U-K and 17 associated with South Africa.
The chief justice of the B-C Supreme Court says the province doesn’t need a court injunction to stop in-person services at three
churches that are challenging COVID-19 restrictions. Justice Christopher Hinkson says public health orders already prohibit the services — and the province and health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have the power to escalate enforcement without a court order.
The province is seeking an injunction banning in-person services at the churches pending the outcome of a constitutional challenge of the order on grounds it violates people’s rights. But Hinkson says he’s concerned about the reputation of the administration of justice if he grants an order that the prosecution service later decides is not in the public interest to enforce.
Tighter COVID-19 border controls take effect on February 22nd. The prime minister says this is not to punish travellers but to
try to keep everyone safe. Most who land at airports will be forced into a mandatory three-day hotel quarantine — at their own expense — and require multiple COVID-19 tests. Justin Trudeau says all this is meant to help prevent new and more transmissible variants from entering the country. The Opposition is urging the government to allow certain people to quarantine at home, while complying with testing requirements. Among them, those travelling for family reunification, compassionate reasons or for non-elective medical procedures.
The country’s leading physician is reporting progress in recent days to curb the spread of COVID-19. Doctor Theresa Tam credits public health measures imposed by provincial and territorial officials. At the same time, Tam warns variants are on the rise and those health measures must remain in place. The prime minister says nobody wants a third wave to start, particularly not one comprised of new, more communicable variants. Justin Trudeau has announced 53-million dollars dedicated to clamping down on these cases.