City of Surrey employees and volunteers have been told they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who choose not to will have to take part in a “rapid testing program” and turn in a negative rest result before each shift.  After Feb. 1, employees in the rapid testing program will have to pay for related costs themselves and those who fail to comply with one or the other will be placed on unpaid leave for a minimum of 30 days and eventually could lose their jobs.  Of roughly 1,400 City of Surrey employees who responded to a survey, 94 per cent indicated they have been fully vaccinated.

 

B-C has reported one-thousand-438 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed over a three-day period, as well as 17 more deaths linked to the illness.  407 people are in hospital with 121 in intensive care.  Close to 43 per cent of the active cases are located in the Fraser Health region.  Just over 90 per cent of eligible residents aged 12 and up have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 86 per cent have had two doses.

 

It’s not something we’re used to in Vancouver, but it’s been confirmed a tornado touched down at UBC over the weekend.  A tornado watch was issued Saturday evening, and then quickly lifted. Following an on-site storm damage survey, Environment Canada has released a preliminary storm assessment, which says the tornado touched down at 5:10 p.m. near the UBC University Golf Club.  The rating for the tornado is EF0, which is the weakest on a scale of EF0 to EF5.

 

Mounties in Surrey are asking for help finding a 13-year-old girl last seen on Saturday afternoon.  Jaya Boutet-Bakke was last seen at Vancouver’s Waterfront Station at 4:45 p.m. She is described as having a medium build, brown curly hair, and brown eyes.  She was last seen wearing a black hoodie, a red top, and dark pants.  Police and family are concerned for her well-being,  If you have nay information you are asked to contact Surrey RCMP.

 

Houston police are leading the criminal investigation into what went wrong Friday night when eight people died and hundreds were injured at a music festival.  But a prominent local official is calling for an independent review because the police department was deeply involved in safety measures for the festival, playing key roles in crowd control measures, on-site security staffing and the emergency response.  Experts in crowd safety say an investigation by neutral outsiders could help the city avoid potential conflicts of interest and promote transparency.

 

Health Canada has approved booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for people over the age of 18, to be administered at least six months after the first two doses.  The booster is designed to help people maintain their protection against the virus over time.  Provinces are using different rollout strategies for booster doses, and m-R-N-A vaccines like the Pfizer shot have already been used to offer longer-lasting protection to high-risk people in several parts of the country.

 

Just as Fraser Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak over at Chilliwack General Hospital, it has declared a new outbreak at Burnaby Hospital. The health authority says two patients have tested positive in the outbreak limited to one medicine unit, which has been closed to admissions. It says infection control measures are in place and other areas of the hospital have not been affected, with the emergency department remaining open. There are 33 active COVID-19 outbreaks in health-care facilities across B-C, including nine in acute care facilities. 

 

Police in Vancouver say a charge has been laid after a woman was stabbed in the leg with a hypodermic needle in the city’s Downtown Eastside last month. They say the B-C Prosecution Service has approved one count of aggravated assault against 35-year-old Cathleen Cunningham in relation to the incident. Police have previously said the attack was random and unprovoked, and quick reaction from the 23-year-old victim helped them identify and arrest a suspect. They have said the victim was treated in hospital because it was uncertain what substance may have been used in the used needle.

 

Two Vancouver police officers who were caught on camera posing near a dead body earlier this year have been suspended for discreditable conduct. The incident prompted an investigation by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, which has found the officers’ behaviour constituted misconduct. Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner Andrea Spindler says the officers have been suspended without pay, but she could not confirm how long they’re off the job. The two officers, whose names have not been publicly released, were recorded posing near a body at Stanley Park’s Third Beach last February. 

 

B-C’s provincial health officer is asking residents to keep indoor holiday celebrations small for the second year in a row in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Doctor Bonnie Henry says getting together with friends and family over the coming season is vital and necessary. But she’s urging people to voluntarily keep indoor gatherings small during what she describes as the “peak risk period of the year,” and chose outdoor activities for larger gatherings. The province’s COVID-19 case numbers have been gradually declining in recent weeks, but Henry says that progress is fragile, particularly with the highly transmissible Delta variant circulating. 

 

It seems a lot of favourable ink means a second season for the unexpected South Korean T-V hit, “Squid Game.” Most TV shows in South Korea run for only a single season. But because it has been so well-received, the show’s creator and director says it feels producers have “no choice” but to put together a second season. The series centres on people who are so desperate for money they agree to take part in a series of schoolyard games with a deadly twist.