The United States will soon accept international travellers immunized with COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the decision in an email and said more guidance will be provided as requirements are finalized. White House officials said last month the U.S. would begin welcoming fully vaccinated international travellers in November, but they did not say which vaccines would be accepted. The news means Canadians immunized with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and its counterpart COVISHIELD will be able to travel to the U.S. when new travel rules come into play next month. The AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by WHO, but not by the FDA. Currently, the only vaccine approved by the FDA is the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine. The lingering question, however, is whether people with mixed doses will be allowed in The National Airlines Council of Canada says it welcomes the policy change and encourages Canada to also recognize all WHO-approved vaccines.
RCMP are investigating an attempted abduction that occurred late Sunday night in Surrey and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. Mounties say they received a report just before midnight on Sunday of a woman that was grabbed from behind by an unknown man who attempted to drag her away as she walked on a path in a green space connecting Edinburgh Drive and 132 Street. The woman screamed out for help and local residents came to help her after chasing the suspect as he ran away. Police responded and spoke to some of the witnesses who helped the woman, who was not physically injured but was emotionally upset and disturbed by the incident. Police are currently trying to locate any other potential witnesses, in particular a man and woman who assisted the victim in getting home. Investigators believe they may have information that will help advance this investigation. The suspect is described as a fair-skinned man, 5’ 10” tall with a slim build and was wearing all black clothing. In the wake of this incident, Surrey RCMP are reminding community members to be cautious and to report all suspicious activity to police. Anyone with information is asked to call the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line
B-C emergency operators have again experienced delays in answering and processing emergency calls. A spokesperson from the E-Comms 9-1-1 says the extended wait period for calls over the Thanksgiving weekend was the result of delays transferring the calls to the B-C Ambulance Service. The agency says, when this happens, people should not hang up but stay on the line until they can be helped. Paramedics in B-C have been speaking out about staffing shortages and burnout since the heat wave in June. In July, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province would be adding more paramedics, dispatchers and ambulances.
Health Minister Adrian Dix and chief public health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry will provide an update on the COVID-19 situation this afternoon. They’re due to speak at noon. The province hasn’t released daily case counts since Friday, when there were 743 new diagnoses and five deaths. The United States will soon accept international travelers immunized with COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the decision in an email and said more guidance will be provided as requirements are finalized. White House officials said last month the U.S. would begin welcoming fully vaccinated international travelers in November, but they did not say which vaccines would be accepted.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says forward Brandon Sutter is still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms seven months after the virus swept through the team. Benning says the veteran forward is “going to be out a while” and that there is no timeline for his return. “He’s experiencing some of the symptoms of the COVID. I guess they call it being a long hauler,” the GM said on Monday. “He still has some issues he’s working through with that. “So once he’s feeling better, the first step for him is to get feeling better and then once he’s healthy enough and feeling better, he’ll start working out and get back out on the ice.” the Canucks play the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night at 7pm
A group of Nanaimo girl guides has had one anonymous person buy more than 17-thousand dollars worth of cookies from the group over a two year period. All of the proceeds will be used to fund the group’s activities for the rest of the year. Troop leader Sarah Bramley says the buyer asked that the members learn about community services and encouraged them to donate the boxes to local charities. She said the troop will donate the cookies to Tillicum Lelum, Loaves and Fishes Food Bank and the Nanaimo Non-Profit Housing Society to hand out to their clients.
British Columbia health officials announced on Tuesday that there have been 2,090 new test-positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 194,581. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 5,183 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 357 individuals are currently hospitalized and 153 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation. There were 603 cases between Friday and Saturday, 634 between Saturday and Sunday, 468 between Sunday and Monday, and 385 between Monday and Tuesday. New cases and total active cases are broken down by health region as follows:
- Fraser Health: 814 new cases, 2,182 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 229 new cases, 647 total active cases
- Interior Health: 404 new cases, 841 total active cases
- Northern Health: 351 new cases, 833 total active cases
- Island Health: 292 new cases, 622 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, 58 total active cases
There have been 28 new COVID-19-related deaths for a total of 2,029 deaths in British Columbia. Of the new deaths, five were in Fraser Health, three were in Vancouver Coastal Health, eight were in Interior Health, seven were in Northern Health, and five were in Island Health. Health officials in BC also shared data on COVID-19 cases in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. From October 4 to 10, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 68.1% of cases, and from September 27 to October 10, they accounted for 73.7% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (October 4 to 10) – Total 4,341
- Not vaccinated: 2,649 (61%)
- Partially vaccinated: 310 (7.1%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,382 (31.8%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (September 27 to October 10) – Total 383
- Not vaccinated: 253 (66.1%)
- Partially vaccinated: 29 (7.6%)
- Fully vaccinated: 101 (26.4%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (October 4 to 10)
- Not vaccinated: 281.3
- Partially vaccinated: 84.4
- Fully vaccinated: 33.1
To date, 88.8% of all eligible people 12 and older in BC have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 82.6% have received their second dose. 186,955 people who tested positive have now recovered.
Vancouver police are investigating the cause of a fatal crash near Jericho Beach. They say it happened on Sunday night, after a man was reported to be driving erratically. They say the driver hit a tree, and after several unsuccessful attempts by Vancouver firefighters and paramedics to revive him, he died at the scene. Constable Tania Visintin says speed was a factor in the crash, but police are still investigating to determine if there were any other factors.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is expanding the COVID-19 mask mandate to include children aged five and older. Henry has been under pressure from some teachers and parents to include all children instead of just those aged 12 and up in the order to wear masks in public spaces. She also announced today that B-C is planning to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to about 340-thousand children aged 5 to 11 as early as November — pending approval by Health Canada. Henry says the start of the campaign will be prioritized in the northern region, where COVID-19 transmission rates are highest and vaccine uptake is low
A B-C woman was nearly hit by a meteorite last week. Ruth Hamilton of Golden, B-C, says she was fast asleep last Monday when a piece of rock crashed through her ceiling. She says an officer was dispatched to the scene and he though he thought it was from a nearby construction site, it was soon determined the rock was a fragment from a meteorite that shot through the night sky earlier that night. Hamilton says she was not injured and she plans to keep the rock, but that she is now focused on getting her roof fixed.