B-C health officials are scheduled to provide an update on the COVID-19 cases in the province at 3 p-m today. The province is reported 519 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths yesterday. The total number of infections in B-C stood at fifty-nine-thousand-and-72 with one-thousand-and-31 fatalities. Another fifty-one-thousand-893 people have recovered from the virus. It was also announced that bc health officals have added another person to the immunization response team. They say Doctor Penny Ballem will be the executive lead to help smooth the expanding immunization program as they see it getting more complex. So far, sixty-three-thousand-430 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine in B-C and officials say work is underway to align the available supply with a person’s level of risk.

 

By the end of this week, all residents and staff members in the health authority will have been vaccinated against COVID-19. They’re among the more than 63,000 people who have been immunized since mid-December when the province began vaccinating people. With almost all long-term care home residents and staff members immunized against the virus, Dr. Penny Ballem says VCH is looking at making changes when it comes to what qualifies as an outbreak at a long-term care home. Currently, an outbreak is declared when just one staff member or resident tests positive for COVID-19. Most deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in long-term care homes, with Little Mountain in East Vancouver seeing the worst outbreak in B.C., claiming 41 lives so far. Meantime, the province is gearing up for an expansion of its immunization program. On Thursday, the province announced 518 new cases of the virus as well as 12 more deaths.

 

The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians wants more transparency about COVID-19 vaccine distribution. It says many emergency room doctors in areas with limited staffing have not been vaccinated and that many doctors have no idea when they will get a shot. It wants priority to go to those directly caring for patients who are critically ill or suspected of having COVID-19 and is concerned some urban doctors who have less patient contact already got the vaccine.

 

Unprofessional is how a Chilliwack school trustee is being described by his peers, who want him to resign, after the official lit up a smoke during a video meeting Tuesday. It was in reaction to a censuring by his peers who voted to ask him to resign for using an inappropriate slur (the ‘R’ word) to describe several local reporters, last November. On Tuesday, in an in-camera meeting, trustees voted in favor of asking the outspoken anti-LGBTQ+ official to resign for the Facebook post that caught the attention of the province and disability advocates. Neufeld didn’t respond to the statement, which was read by vice-chair Jared Mumford, but a few minutes later, Neufeld stepped away from the screen. When he returns, moments later, he leans in to light a cigarette and then takes a swig from a wine glass before his video feed cuts out. His video feed restarts in time for the regular meeting, which he appears to fall asleep during, This isn’t the first time Barry Neufeld sparked controversy for his behavior, or the first time he’s been asked to step down by other board members.

 

It has been reported that U-S President Donald Trump watched impeachment proceedings on T-V at the White House and grew angry as some Republicans blamed him for the violent insurrection at the Capitol. Not a single House Republican voted to impeach Trump in 2019, but 10 did yesterday. Trump is the first U-S president to be impeached twice. Still, it remains unclear when the Senate will proceed with a trial. Trump later released a video message condemning the violence at the Capitol but not taking responsibility for any role he may have played in inciting his supporters.

Brock Boeser scored twice, including the winner, as the Vancouver Canucks downed the host Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Wednesday in the 2020-21 NHL season opener for both teams. Bo Horvat, Adam Gaudette, and rookie Nils Hoglander also scored for Vancouver. Braden Holtby made 28 saves for his first win as a Canuck. It was a back and forth game in front of no fans and canned crowd noise at Rogers Place.  The two teams play again in Edmonton Thursday and will wind up playing each other 10 times this season

 

Jennifer Lopez will perform on the West Front of the U-S Capitol on Wednesday when Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem at the inauguration. Wednesday evening, actor Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute prime-time T-V special celebrating the inauguration.

 

Data from Vancouver Coastal Health show schools aren’t spreading COVID-19, and the findings support efforts to continue in-person classes. The authority says in the first half of the school year about 700 students or staff tested positive, but most of those illnesses came from outside the school system. School aged children in the health authority represent about 10% of the total population but the data figures show only 6% of them have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Vancouver Coastal medical health officer Dr. Alex Choi says the figures reassure teachers, staff, parents and students that going to school is safe.

 

Canada has seen 7,727 cases of COVID-19 on an average day in the last week and hospitalizations and deaths are rising. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the burden is worsening on hospitals and health authorities. She says infection rates are highest among people older than 80, who are most at risk of serious illness.

 

Prosecutors say a Delaware man photographed carrying a Confederate flag during the deadly riot in the U-S Capitol has been arrested. Federal prosecutors say Kevin Seefried, who was seen carrying the flag, was arrested along with his son Hunter. Prosecutors say both entered the Senate building through a broken window. They were charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and degradation of government property.

 

BC is reporting 536 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths as of January 14th 2021. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also says the first case of the new, more easily-spread South African variant of the virus has been confirmed in BC. Henry says the case is concerning because the infected person is not known to have travelled or to have a connection to a traveller. She says four cases of the British variant have also been confirmed in the province — all linked two separate travellers.
Henry says all five cases are the Vancouver Coastal Health region and there’s no indication of any community spread.