Desperate times are leading to desperate measures for school teachers who are concerned the COVID-19 virus will get them before they get the vaccine. Some Metro Vancouver teachers have been driving across the region to vaccination clinics, hoping for the off-chance to get an end-of-vial, end-of-day shot. Sheelagh Brothers teaches in New Westminster is too young to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at a pharmacy, and isn’t in Surrey where all teachers are getting doses. Brothers says she got word that a colleague just got a shot at a clinic in Fraser Health with leftover doses. She drove to surrey, got to the front of the vaccination line and told the worker that she works in New Westminster’s school district, only to hear back that the rules had been been changed 10 minutes prior to her arriving and only teachers in surrey can get the vaccine. Brothers along with many other teachers outside of surrey are frustrated with the “complete lack of communication” as to when teachers other than those who work in Surrey will get their turn.
Many restaurants in BC have transitioned to outdoor dining and have set up patios, but B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association says it’s critical there are at least two sides open to outdoor air. Since B.C.’s top doctor, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced the restrictions affecting indoor dining last week, many restaurants moved outdoors and even started building patios. But plenty of eateries are not leaving room for air to flow through. While there are not any particular patios that concern, many owners are doing their best to keep guests safe, even in the worst weather condition. Dr. Reza Afshari has studied the interaction of indoor air quality and the severity of COVID-19. and has found that if a space has 2 sides are open for the ventilation, the possibility of transmission is far less and encourages people to speak up if they are concerned about any patio spaces.
Some provinces hit hard by the third wave of the pandemic are starting to vaccinate people as young as 18. Ontario plans to target younger people in areas with high COVID-19 case numbers, including teachers and essential workers, and send mobile teams into residential buildings and some large-scale workplaces. This is also taking place in Tofino with all adults given the option to book their vaccination. But so far here in lower mainland we are sticking to the current vaccination plan by age & vulnerability & a specific group of essential workers. On their conference call yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the premiers the federal government has now delivered more than 10-million doses of vaccines.
The Canadian Medical Association says new pandemic lockdown measures now in place in some provinces can’t be lifted until there are clear signs that COVID-19 variants are under control. The group representing doctors across the country says constantly changing rules are confusing and don’t serve their intended purpose. It is also calling for the pace of vaccinations to increase and
is urging provinces and territories to involve primary care doctors in their rollout plans.
A fifth of B-C residents eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine have had a first dose so far as the province recorded 997 new cases yesterday. Over 87 thousand people have had two doses and more than 300 thousand people have registered online to get vaccinated. People 70 and order, along with Indigenous people 18 and up and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are now able to book appointments. Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are set to provide the latest COVID-19 data today, including information on fast-rising variants.
The mayor of Whistler is lobbying the province to vaccinate all residents in the resort community. Jack Crompton says the town of 13 thousand workers needs to be protected after hundreds of COVID-19 cases forced the provincial health officer to end the ski season last week. He says Whistler is one of the hardest-hit communities and everyone there should be vaccinated long before the summer travel season. The popular Vancouver Island community of Tofino has mass vaccination clinics booked starting next Monday for anyone older than 18
The Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive in the N-H-L’s biggest reported outbreak of COVID-19. The team says 21 players and four members of the coaching staff
have been infected, and one other player is considered a close contact. It says the positive cases involve a variant and are a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread, even among healthy,
young athletes. The Canucks say the B-C Centre for Disease Control is trying to determine which variant is part of the outbreak, but an investigation by Vancouver Coastal Health has found it was sparked by an unnamed person who was infected in a public location.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is putting a new expedited workplace order in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Henry says the order will allow WorkSafe B-C to issue temporary closure notices to workplaces where three or more workers are sick. The orders lasting at least 10 days will only be issued when transmission has been proven to have occurred in the workplace. Henry says the aim is to control and prevent outbreaks so she doesn’t have to shut down all non-essential workplaces.
B-C is reporting a single-day record of one-thousand-293 new cases of COVID-19 amid a surging third wave of the pandemic. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says two more people have died — bringing the death toll to one-thousand-493. There are just under 92-hundred active cases in the province with 336 people in hospital, including 101 in critical care. Henry also announced the province is shifting its screening strategy so whole-genome sequencing will no longer be required to confirm all positive cases of COVID variants. The move comes as experts say the extra testing is unnecessary and caused delays that led variant cases being under-reported.
Canada’s deputy chief public health officer says there are still no reports of blood clots in Canada connected to the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Howard Njoo (NOO’) told an Ottawa news conference today that health officials continue to monitor for any expected or unexpected adverse reactions to all vaccines. He says there have been about 400 other kinds of reactions, but no clots. More than seven-million vaccine doses have now been administered in Canada, and the amount arriving in the country is expected to significantly increase each month to more than 30-million by July.
Canada received its first 316-thousand, 800 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX international vaccine-sharing program this morning. Ottawa’s decision to access the doses is controversial because, although COVAX has reached 100 countries with vaccines, many of the world’s poorest nations still haven’t received a single dose. International Development Minister Karina Gould says the shipment marks a huge milestone and that Canada is committed to giving doses back after completing its own vaccination program.
A Surrey man and Burnaby man face charges after a two-year investigation into an “organized crime, drug trafficking organization,” police say. John Canning, 59, of Surrey is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance and Matt Borden, 32, of Burnaby is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm, possession of a prohibited firearm and unlawful storage of two firearms.
Surrey R-C-M-P say they’re investigating a “disgusting” incident caught on videotape showing an unmasked man spitting in the face of a Dollarama security guard. Police say they haven’t received a complaint about the assault that apparently occurred while the guard was escorting the man out of the store at Guildford mall. But they say they began an investigation after receiving a copy of the video from C-T-V reporters after they located it on social media. The Mounties say they’ve learned the incident occurred on Tuesday and are appealing for any witnesses to come forward, including the person who shot the video.