B-C is reporting two-thousand-146 new cases of COVID-19 and 49 more people have died over the past three days. Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says the deaths are a tragedy and bring the total number of fatalities to 647 since the pandemic began. The province now has more than 10 thousand active cases of the virus. A record number of 359 people are in hospital, including 87 in intensive care

Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 vaccinations will begin in B-C tomorrow. Henry says the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in the province last night and immunizations of health-care workers will begin in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions. She calls that a momentous step but warns there is still not enough vaccine to stop transmission in the community. Henry says her biggest fear is that people will let up on health precautions and some will unnecessarily end up being hospitalized or dying.

 

Canada has received its first shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, and their distribution is set to begin today.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement last night on Twitter.  He says while it’s good news, the fight against COVID-19 isn’t over and Canadians must keep up their vigilance.  The vaccines are bound for 14 distribution sites across the country in all 10 provinces.  Quebec is set to become the first province to administer the COVID-19 vaccines today.  They’ll go to the residents of two long-term care homes in Montreal and Quebec

 

An outbreak has been declared at a Christian private school in Surrey, where 30 people have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.  Fraser Health said the Regent Christian Academy campus is being closed as a “precautionary measure,” and that the school will switch to remote learning until the end of the semester on Dec. 18.

 

The organizer of a rally that drew hundreds to the streets of Kelowna to oppose COVID-19 restrictions has been slapped with a $2,300 fine.  The “Okanagan Mega Rally” took place Saturday afternoon.  A poster for the event describes the purpose. “We demand: freedom, truth, transparency, choice,” it reads. “We oppose: tyranny, mandates, lies, new normal.” The hefty ticket was issued for violating the provincial health order on gatherings and events. The organizer’s name has not been released.

 

Protesters throughout Canada continue to stand in solidarity with farmers in India.  For the past few weeks, people protested new legislation announced by India’s Prime Minister , which will allow farmers to sell their grain to private corporations, as well as the government.  Previously farmers could only sell to the government at a minimum guaranteed wholesale price.  Farmers say this has the potential to destroy their livelihoods as relying on the corporations could result in financial exploitation.  Protests have been held worldwide as similar peaceful protests take place in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, and Winnipeg.

 

Google users in Canada, the U.S., Europe, India and other parts of the world were briefly unable to access their Gmail accounts, watch YouTube videos, or get to their online documents during an outage this morning  Tens of thousands of complaints popped up around 7 a.m. Eastern.  The inability to sign in prevented users accessing other platforms through Google, including mobile video games.

 

As Canadians prepare for the provinces distribution of the vaccine, it seems more people are willing to get the shot as soon as they can.  The latest Angus Reid Institute poll shows an eight per cent increase in the number of people who say they want to be immunized as soon as it’s available to them, at 48 per cent.  It was just a month ago that 40 per cent of Canadians polled said they were interested in getting vaccinated as soon as a shot was available to them.  According to the pollster, people 65 years and older are among those most eager to want to be immunized.

 

The S-P-C-A in B-C is calling on the province to suspend all mink farm licences after a COVID-19 outbreak at a farm in the Fraser Valley. At least eight workers at the farm and samples from five mink have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The animal welfare agency says the province should put a moratorium on mink farming to reduce the risk of further spread. It says unlike other animals, mink can become sick and die when infected with the COVID virus.

 

A positive case of COVID-19 has been reported at Big White Ski Resort after a party a couple of weeks ago. Senior vice-president Michael Ballingall says testing is underway to determine who else may have contracted the virus. He says young people tend to think they aren’t affected by the virus, but some have tested positive. Ballingall says they’ve asked Interior Health to come to the mountain to perform testing.