Yesterday although the regular 3pm briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix was cancelled, the BC COVID numbers were still revealed and it looks like British Columbia reported 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional deaths on Thursday. It came a year to the day after the province sent out its first joint statement about the novel coronavirus. In a written statement, health officials said hospitalizations fell again to 309, the lowest since Nov. 27.

Three new clinics are set to open in Vancouver and Surrey for British Columbians suffering from long-term effects of COVID-19. The clinics will open at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey. In addition to providing care for those suffering from lingering effects of the virus, the Provincial Health Services Authority said Friday that it will be developing knowledge and best practices for dealing with long-haul patients. COVID-19 long-haulers are patients who have contracted the virus but continue to live with chronic symptoms months after tests reveal they’re virus-free. The clinics will be staffed with specialists and health professionals with an extensive knowledge of the virus long-haulers, the province said.

We are about to find out how B.C. plans to deal with the delay of possibly tens of thousands of doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer. Premier John Horgan will be joining Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in laying out B.C.’s latest immunization strategy later this morning. They are expected to address the delay of nearly 31,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot that were expected to arrive in the province by Jan. 29 but could be curtailed due to production issues. Earlier this week, Dix said that B.C. remains committed to ensuring everyone who received their first shot gets their second dose within 35 days, but infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch expects there will be significant triage efforts in the coming weeks.   The last Covid numbers we were given was on Wednesday with 500 new Covid 19 cases and 15 deaths.

Langley and Surrey RCMP were called to the area of 198A Street and 81st Avenue just before 9 p.m. Thursday for a possible shooting. A witness on scene said the police focused on an area on the ground at the side of the road setting up a wide perimeter in the area stretching many blocks in each direction. A grey Audi sedan was found parked on the side of the road and was towed away under police supervision. Police collected some evidence from the ground on 198A Street and then cleared the scene.

 

The blame for the resignation of Governor General Julie Payette is landing squarely on Justin Trudeau’s doorstep. He’s expected to face a grilling after an independent investigation into allegations she presided over a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall came to some stark conclusions. Trudeau disbanded a non-partisan nomination committee and instead handpicked the former astronaut for the job, apparently failing to note she faced similar allegations of harassing and bullying subordinates at both the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

 

A group of Vancouver Value Village employees is being praised for doing the right thing, after finding more than $85,000 stashed away in a donation bag.  The workers found the money while sorting through a bag of donations at a Value Village facility on Venables Street on Jan. 18, “They did the right thing, they called the police, and we’re in the process of returning the money to the rightful owner.” They initially thought it might be gang or drug related, but after seeing how old the bills were and noticing that they had a musty odor, realized the cash had likely been hidden away for years. As it turned out, the cash belonged to an elderly woman now living in long-term care, according to bank statements found with the money. Her family had donated a number of bags of her belongings while clearing out a storage locker, without knowing that the money existed, they were incredible grateful for the find, and commended the workers for being honest when they discovered the trove of bills.

 

The Vancouver Canucks played the Montreal Canadians last night and it was it bad there was Hope that Wednesday’s win against the Canadiens was a sign the Canucks were starting to move forward, but that was not the  case last night. The Canucks gave away a pile of goals, including two in nine seconds, and lost  7-3 to the Canadians at rogers arena at Rogers Arena. The Canucks are now Six games into 2021’s 56-game schedule, the Canucks have allowed 28 goals, which apparently is easily the most in the NHL , and reports are saying They no longer seem like a team trapped by circumstance in a slow start, but a team in serious trouble.

BC has rolled out the next stages of its age-based COVID-19 vaccination plan set to begin in April once the most vulnerable groups are immunized. Those due to get the shot by end of March include residents and staff at long-term care homes, people 80 or older and Indigenous elders over 65. The program will then expand to people between the ages of 75 and 79 followed by 70- to 74-year-olds and those with severe health conditions that put them at high risk for infection. Younger people will then get the vaccine in decreasing five-year age groups. The aim is to immunize 4.3-million people by the end of September, though health officials say timing depends on vaccine supply.

 

Opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection will begin the week of February 8th. That’s according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who announced the schedule tonight. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate on Monday. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wanted to postpone the impeachment trial until February to give the former president time to prepare his case.

 

The Movie Theatre Association of Canada is calling on BC health officials to explain why gyms, bars and restaurants can remain open, while cinemas were forced to close under public health rules last November. The organization’s executive director, Nuria Bronfman, points to COVID-19 guidelines that allow theaters to show sporting events, but not movies. Vancouver’s Rio Theatre plans to reopen Saturday by pivoting to operate as a bar after a similar move by city’s Hollywood Theatre last month. BC health officials applauded such creativity this week, saying members of the arts and culture sector have worked hard to reinvent themselves during the pandemic, while Bronfman says most movie theatres don’t have liquor licences and many could close forever.

 

US President Joe Biden has ordered a pause on all Mexico border wall construction. The move leaves billions of dollars in unfinished work under contract after his predecessor, Donald Trump, worked feverishly to successfully build more than 700 kilometres of the wall. A Senate aide tells media the government has spent 6.1 billion dollars of 10.8 billion under contract. The Biden administration will negotiate cancellation fees and look into whether what’s left can be spent elsewhere.