B-C has recorded 762 new cases of COVID-19 — another record as the province battles a second wave of infections. Health officials are also reporting 10 new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 320. The province currently has six-thousand-861 active cases of COVID-19, including 209 individuals who are hospitalized. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B-C needs to put the brakes on COVID-19 because the second surge is putting a strain on the health-care system, workplaces and everyone.
484 of yesterdays reported cases are in Surrey, prompting a call for stronger enforcement from a city councillor. Coun. Jack Hundial, says the surge in cases in the city is “alarming,” adding more needs to be done to crack down on people in Surrey not following COVID-19 safety measures. He says he supports making masks mandatory and says people monitoring each other’s mask use is a good thing.
Police in Surrey are trying to track down a man who’s accused of trying to lure a child into the woods over the weekend. It happened on Saturday afternoon around 1 p.m. near 125 Street and 76 Avenue. A man apparently followed a child that was walking down the street before repeatedly asking the child to go into a wooded area and help the man look for something he had lost. When a bystander confronted the man, he quickly took off. The suspect is described as possibly middle eastern, in his 40s, 6’0″ tall, bald, and has light brown eyes. He was wearing a charcoal grey sweater and black sweat pants at the time.
As the numbers get worse across Canada, a poll from Campaign Research in the Toronto Sun suggests the majority of Canadians, in every province, want more restrictions. Health officials across the country are bracing for what is expected to be another day of rising COVID-19 case numbers. At the same time, dreams of a vaccine are getting closer to reality. Yesterday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam highlighted “promising” early results from vaccine trials. Still, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed the country remains in an “incredibly serious” situation. He says Canadians will need to refocus their efforts until vaccines become widely available.
A Surrey city councillor is calling for a crackdown on COVID-19 rule breakers. Recent modelling data revealed that the city has seen the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the province. Coun. Jack Hundial says enforcement needs to be stepped up before the caseload gets even worse. The former Mountie would like the attitude about holding each other accountable to change. The Fraser Health region reported 484 infections, accounting for 68 per cent of all the new cases Tuesday. Dr. Bonnie Henry has said the virus is spreading at private gatherings like weddings and funerals and that the South Asian community has been disproportionately impacted. Hundial says mask compliance in the city is also an issue with many still going bare faced in public spaces.
There is new hope this morning that a COVID-19 vaccine is coming. Pfizer says the latest tests suggest its vaccine is 95 per cent effective. The shot appears to protect older people most at risk of dying from COVID-19. The news comes as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise across Canada, prompting widespread calls for governments to take tougher lockdown measures. Nunavut is shutting down for two weeks starting today to try to get cases under control.
The Society of B.C. Veterinarians has noticed more dogs are catching kennel cough this year than in previous years, and they think it might be due to the coronavirus pandemic. They say the increase might be because so many people got “pandemic puppies” earlier this year as people were forced into lockdowns, and weren’t able to expose them to as much of the outside world as they normally would. If you notice your dog coughing, you should keep them away from other dogs, and take them into a vet.
Health Canada is issuing a warning about the harms of using ultraviolet lights and wands that falsely claim to kill the COVID-19 virus. The agency is asking the public to report the sale or advertisement of U-V products that make unproven claims to disinfect household items against the novel coronavirus. Authorities say U-V products have been linked to a dangerous form of radiation that can cause damage if used on skin
Premier John Horgan says a two-week quarantine for anyone travelling to Vancouver Island may not be the best way to limit the spread of COVID-19. The island’s chief medical officer has suggested the quarantine, similar to restrictions imposed on anyone from other provinces entering Atlantic Canada. Dr. Richard Stanwick says roughly half of the COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island since the start of September are linked to travel. Horgan says he’ll leave a decision on the proposal up to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, but non-essential travel is banned in B-C and will remain that way for two weeks at least.
Premier John Horgan has laid out the timetable to get his newly elected majority government up and running. Horgan says members of the legislature will be sworn-in next Tuesday and his cabinet will be unveiled at a ceremony two days later. That will be followed by a brief sitting of the legislature, starting December 7th. Horgan says the session will begin with a throne speech setting out New Democrat priorities — possibly including plans for distribution of the one-thousand dollar relief benefit for COVID-19, promised to each voter during the October campaign.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has announced a plan to decriminalize simple possession of all drugs in the city. The proposal needs both council and federal approval but — if that is received — Vancouver would be the first jurisdiction in Canada to rank personal possession and use of drugs as a health issue, not a criminal one. In making the announcement, Stewart says he has the support of Premier John Horgan, provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry, and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He says it’s time for a new approach because Vancouver has seen more than 300 illicit drug overdose deaths so far this year and more than 15-hundred since a provincial overdose emergency was declared more than four years ago