There is a winter storm warning in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Heavy snow will begin this evening and stick around throughout tomorrow morning. Some areas in Metro Vancouver will see 20 cm and some areas in the Fraser Valley could see up to 30cm. Environment Canada says you should consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.
B-C reported two-thousand, 542 cases of COVID-19 yesterday as Dr. Bonnie Henry says school closures will not be extended. The cases bring B-C’s total to 266-thousand, 710 cases since the pandemic began. B-C also reported four new deaths since December 31st. Dr. Henry says schools that were closed for an extra week will reopen as they provide the best social, emotional and intellectual development for children.
The Province says businesses should prepare to have as many as one-third of their employees off sick with the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Doctor Bonnie Henry says businesses that require staff to come into the workplace need to use multiple safety protocols such as staggering shifts and break times and using Plexiglas barriers. She says respirators, or N-95 masks, only offer minimal benefit in low-risk settings like schools and stores. Henry says B-C’s testing capacity has been limited, with 80 per cent of infections due to Omicron
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, are set to present the first federal COVID-19 update of the new year this morning. The surge in cases brought on by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has forced several provinces to postpone non-urgent surgeries, reduce access to COVID tests and delay the return to in-person learning for students. Trudeau repeated his call for Canadians to get vaccinated against the virus as he received a booster shot at an Ottawa pharmacy yesterday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he’ll continue discussions with all provincial and territorial governments to ensure Canadians are supported by effective health-care systems. Trudeau spoke on the phone yesterday with B-C Premier and Council of the Federation chair John Horgan, and the pair discussed the Canada Health Transfer. Trudeau said he’ll hold a call with the premiers next week. Canadians in some parts of the country are seeing surgeries postponed, access to COVID-19 testing reduced and a return to classes delayed amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Trudeau says there are enough vaccine doses for every Canadian to get a booster. At his first COVID-19 update for 2022, Trudeau again called for people to get vaccinated — pointing out his government has put forward many different measures to encourage, reassure, incentivize, educate and cajole Canadians into getting the vaccine. Trudeau notes the vast majority of Canadians have already stepped up and they’re frustrated by those who choose not to get the jab.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pushing for rapid testing to be part of the path through the latest wave of the pandemic. He says the federal government is ramping up the delivery of rapid tests to the provinces — with 140-million of the tests to be distributed this month. But Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says the Liberal government has failed to get enough rapid tests for COVID-19 into the hands of Canadians.
B-C is reporting just under 38-hundred new cases of COVID-19 today — with nearly half of them in the Fraser Health region. The province now has 29-thousand-967 active cases of COVID-19. Three-hundred-and-17 people with the virus are in hospital, including 83 people who are in intensive care. No new deaths have been reported and there have been no new health-care facility outbreaks.
B-C Ferries says the parkade at the Horseshoe Bay terminal in Vancouver has been closed to the public following a minor rock slide last weekend. It says one vehicle in the parkade sustained damage in the slide on Sunday but fortunately there were no injuries. It says the parkade has been closed until further notice due to safety concerns and customers must to check in with a B-C Ferries representative to access any vehicles left inside. A rock scaling contractor is on site to install temporary bracing and shoring for the damaged portions of the parking garage and then begin scaling the rock face near the parkade. (The Canadian Press)
Vancouver police are asking the public to be on the lookout for a 55-year-old woman who left to go on walk on late Monday afternoon but failed to return home. Police say Christiane “Chris” Rohr’s disappearance is out of character and investigators and her family members are concerned for her safety. Sergeant Steve Addison says Rohr is an avid walker and may have ventured into the extensive park and path network of Champlain Heights, which she knows well. He says anyone who sees her is asked to call 9-1-1 and stay with her until first responders arrive.
R-C-M-P in Richmond are investigating after a man showed up at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Mounties say they were contacted after the man showed up at Richmond General Hospital at 8:30 a-m on Monday. Police say the incident is believed to be isolated and its serious crime unit is investigating. Anyone with potential information are asked to contact police.
Parts of B-C are expected to get hit with another blast of winter weather today. A winter storm watch has been issued for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Southern Gulf Islands, Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast, Greater Victoria and inland and east Vancouver Island. Depending on the location, areas could get between 10 and 20 centimetres before the snow tapers off midday Thursday. Drivers and commuters should prepare for their journeys to take extra time to reach their destinations and to pack for the weather.