At approximately 7:30 p.m. on March 15, 2021, Surrey RCMP Front line responded to multiple calls reporting two men fighting and shots fired in the 13500-block of Highway 99. Officers arrived and located two men; one was suffering from gunshot wounds and was taken to the hospital in serious condition. The second man was arrested and taken into police custody. Both men are associated to a single vehicle that has been seized by police. A firearm was also recovered from the scene by police. The initial indications are that this shooting is related to a dispute between parties known to one another. Both men involved in this incident are known to police. There is not indication at this time that is shooting is related to the Lower Mainland Gang conflict, however police are investigating possible links to the drug trade. There is no indication of any on-going risk to the public related to this incident. Anyone with more information about this incident or dash-cam footage is ask to contact the Surrey RCMP

 

B.C. school principals choosing to make masks mandatory above and beyond what’s recommended by the provincial health officer are not being ordered to stop. Dr. Bonnie Henry suggests protocols may differ based on where you live Currently, middle and secondary students, as well as all staff and teachers from K-12 are required to wear masks while in all indoor spaces at schools, including within learning groups. The mask mandate does not apply to elementary students, for whom mask wearing remains a personal choice. Ministry of Education staff have confirmed a rapid response team is dedicated to making sure safety orders are followed, but there’s no evidence of any crackdown on schools implementing stronger mask policies. “So there is mask mandates in the public health guidance and then each school district, each school, puts the operational pieces in place using those guidelines,” Henry said.

B-C is reporting one-thousand-506 new cases of COVID-19 over the past three days. And provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says 10 more people have died, bringing the death toll in B-C to
one-thousand-407. Henry used her COVID update today to urge people to get vaccinated as soon as possible with whatever vaccine they are offered.
B-C’s initial shipment of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine will go to workers in food processing plants, agricultural operations and large industrial camps. Health officials say in a statement the vaccine will be use in industries where outbreaks are ongoing or have occurred, where use of P-P-E is challenging and where workers must live or work in congregate settings. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say public health and WorkSafeBC identified the highest risk categories of work sites. The statement says immunizing workers at those sites will help stop the spread of COVID-19 in neighboring areas, including rural, remote and Indigenous communities

B-C’s top doctor says she’s working with faith leaders on plans to resume in-person religious services that have mostly been prohibited since November. Dr. Bonnie Henry says information will soon be provided on outdoor gatherings in small numbers allowed for Easter and Passover. She adds that more details are on the way next week about the gradual resumption of indoor services for all faith groups. B-C recorded one-thousand-506 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths between Friday and yesterday.

B-C’s first 60-thousand doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine will go to workers in sectors where outbreaks have occurred, where use of P-P-E is challenging, and where people live or work in congregate settings. Health officials say that includes workers in food processing plants, agricultural operations and large industrial camps. Concerns about blood clots have led some countries to suspend the use of certain lots of the vaccine, while B-C’s provincial health officer says the condition can sometimes be associated with COVID-19 itself. Dr. Bonnie Henry adds that blood clots have been detected in 37 cases out of 17 million doses administered.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is set to change its guidelines for the use of the  Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and will recommend it be given to those 65 years and older, a source confirmed. Earlier this month, NACI stopped short of recommending the adenoviral vector vaccine for those 65 and over “due to  limited information on the efficacy of this vaccine in this age group at this time.” NACI reportedly plans to update its guidelines today. Meanwhile, some provinces have begun immunizing those between the 60 and 64 with the vaccine, or like here in BC have announced it will go to frontline workers.

The SPCA is appealing for donations to support the care of 119 dogs surrendered from a property near Fort Nelson on Friday. Chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty says RCMP officers who visited the property last Thursday for unrelated reasons indicated the owners wanted to surrender up to 22 dogs. She says SPCA staff instead found 119 dogs and had to call the local police and fire departments for help in transporting them to care facilities. Moriarty says the dogs of various breeds and ages have an array of medical and behavioural needs and they’re not yet up for adoption, but she’s hopeful they will find the right homes once they’re ready.

Health officials in Prince Rupert have opened up COVID-19 vaccination bookings to all adults in the community. Northern Health says the move comes a few days ahead of schedule because the vaccine rollout in the port city of about 12-thousand people is going better than expected. The health unit says 998 people had been vaccinated by the end of yesterday and another 13-hundred appointments were booked. Local and provincial health officials announced last week that everyone in Prince Rupert would be offered vaccinations due to a growing number of clusters and outbreaks. 

Surrey RCMP is advising the public to avoid a Guildford intersection following a crash involving a police vehicle and a civilian vehicle. Around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday (March 16), according to a release from Surrey RCMP, police received multiple reports of a crash in the 10000-block of 148th Street. Police said the driver of the civilian vehicle has been “seriously injured” and taken to hospital. Surrey RCMP is asking the public to avoid the area as traffic in all four directions is closed at this time while officers investigate the scene. Anyone with more information about this incident or dash-cam footage is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers if you wish to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca and reference file 2021-33213.

 

Canada’s top doctor is urging Canadians to limit their social contacts, even as governments ramp up COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Dr. Theresa Tam says she’s concerned about a recent rise in average case counts across the country, combined with an acceleration of new variants of the virus. Warnings are also emerging in Ontario about the arrival of a third wave of COVID-19. The province’s independent science advisory table says almost half the new cases in Ontario now involve the more transmissible variants of concern.

 

British Columbia health officials announced 556 new test-positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 88,929. In a joint written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that broken down by health region, this equates to 139 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 331 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 27 in the Island Health region, 27 in the Interior Health region, 16 in the Northern Health region, and two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

 

The province is boosting payments for seniors and those receiving income assistance and disability benefits starting next month. It says individuals on income and disability assistance will get a permanent increase of $175 per month. The province says it’s the third increase since July 2017 but is short of the $300 COVID-19 supplement that ended in December. There will also be an increase of $50 a month in the senior’s supplement — which the government says is the first hike since the benefit was introduced in 1987.