People in some B.C. communities who were forced to leave their homes due to widespread flooding are now trying to come to terms with what happened. Nearly 300 people were rescued by helicopter off B.C.’s Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope Monday, but many others remained stranded for a second night, as mudslides washed out sections of roads and blocked access. As of this morning, Metro Vancouver was completely cut off from direct road access to the rest of the province. And while extreme rain and wind has eased for much of the southern part of B.C., a new worry is growing as temperatures drop. In Abbotsford, some emergency alerts have been upgraded to orders as flooding worsens. An evacuation order has been issued for about 800 properties in the Sumas Prairie area of the city due to rising floodwaters. People are urged to leave immediately and travel east toward Chilliwack.
Nearly 20-thousand customers from Vancouver Island to the Kootenay region are still without electricity and crews have not yet been assigned to several hard-hit areas, including Chilliwack and
Hope. Floodwaters are still rising in some areas, including Abbotsford, where an evacuation order was issued this morning for people living on the Sumas Prairie to the Chilliwack boundary.
B-C has reported 12-hundred-and-70 new cases of COVID-19 over a three-day period for a total of three-thousand-837 infections active across the province. It has also recorded 16 more deaths, pushing the toll to two-thousand-273. The Health Ministry says unvaccinated people account for just over 60 per cent of hospitalizations.
The B-C government announced it has introduced legislation it says would prevent “disruptive behavior” from affecting schools and health-care facilities. Premier John Horgan says in a statement that people protesting COVID-19 rules have blocked access to health-care facilities and schools, and while everyone has a right to protest, interference with patients and children is unacceptable. The province says the legislation would establish 20-metre zones preventing protests around hospitals, schools and COVID-19 vaccination and test centres, the act would empower police to make arrests or to issue violation tickets of up to two thousand dollars.
Drugmaker Moderna has submitted a request to Health Canada to authorize use of its COVID-19 vaccine for six-to-11-year-old children. The agency is currently reviewing Pfizer-BioNTech’s submission for approval of its vaccine for five-to-11-year-olds. Officials have indicated a decision on that vaccine could come before the 1st of December.
B-C Premier John Horgan says the devastating weather events over the past several days have left him with sorrow in his heart. The premier, speaking virtually during the Cascadia Innovation Corridor event with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, says the effects of this week’s “rain river” are manifestations of the ravages of climate change. Horgan says over the past weekend B-C experienced more rain in a day than the province usually gets during the entire month of November.
A search continues for more possible victims after the body of a woman was recovered from a landslide near Lillooet that was triggered by record rainfall. The R-C-M-P say the total number of people and vehicles unaccounted for after the landslide across Highway 99 has not yet been confirmed but they have received reports of two other missing people. Rescue crews are also searching for potentially trapped vehicles or people in the debris field of two slides on Highway 7 near Agassiz. Helicopters evacuated about 300 people to safety yesterday after they were trapped in vehicles caught between the two slides.
B-C’s top doctor says she expects children aged five to 11 will likely be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines before the upcoming holidays. Dr. Bonnie Henry is urging parents to register their children now for vaccination. Henry said during her weekly COVID-19 briefing that she expects Health Canada to approve vaccination soon for children aged five to 11. She says the province has been assured there will be enough for the 300-thousand children that fall into that age category in B-C.
Pfizer is submitting its experimental pill for COVID-19 for U-S authorization. The company’s antiviral is one of a handful of pills that have recently been shown to significantly cut hospitalizations and deaths among people infected with COVID-19. If authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, it could be a major step toward managing the pandemic.
BC health officials announced 338 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 213,358. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 3,568 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 376 individuals are currently in hospital, 107 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Broken down by health region, the new cases and total active cases are as follows:
- Fraser Health: 160 new cases, 1,297 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 40 new cases, 506 total active cases
- Interior Health: 39 new cases, 683 total active cases
- Northern Health: 57 new cases, 510 total active cases
- Island Health: 42 new cases, 513 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, 59 total active cases
There has been one COVID-19-related death over the past 24 hours in Fraser Health, for a total of 2,274 deaths in BC. To date, 90.7% of all eligible people 12 and older in BC have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 86.8% have received their second dose. From November 8 to November 14, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 60.5% of cases, and from November 1 to November 14, they accounted for 68.5% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (November 8 to November 14) – Total 3,489
- Not vaccinated: 1,772 (55.7%)
- Partially vaccinated: 152 (4.8%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,260 (39.6%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (November 1 to 14) – Total 417
- Not vaccinated: 182 (61.1%)
- Partially vaccinated: 22 (7.4%)
- Fully vaccinated: 94 (31.5%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (November 8 to November 14)
- Not vaccinated: 227.7
- Partially vaccinated: 62.7
- Fully vaccinated: 28.6
Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (November 1 to 14)
- Not vaccinated: 37.2
- Partially vaccinated: 14.3
- Fully vaccinated: 2.1
After spending some time in the Hollywood wilderness, Will Smith’s career is taking a mid-life upward turn. Smith stars in the upcoming drama “King Richard” as Richard Williams, father and coach to Venus and Serena Williams. The 53-year-old Smith writes in a new memoir that he has been meditating and generally asking himself a lot of questions. A two-time Oscar nominee, Smith is widely considered the favourite to win his first Academy Award.