Canada

COVID-19 update for Oct. 16-17: 667 new cases, 13 deaths | Deadly outbreak at Burnaby care home shows booster shots needed sooner | U.S. will accept mixed doses of vaccines from international travelers

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— Gordon Hoekstra

Health professionals in private practice face vaccine order

B.C. doctors, dentists and other health professionals in private practice will soon be required to get vaccinated.

The provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued an order Friday putting unvaccinated health professionals on notice that they would be required to be vaccinated in order to see patients or provide care or services in B.C.

The notice was directed at health professionals not covered by previous orders, including those who work in private practice and do not have privileges at a hospital or health-care facility. Henry’s order did not set a deadline.

COVID-19 vaccinations are already mandatory for staff at long-term care homes and assisted living facilities. Anyone who works in a health-care facility, including hospitals, will be required to be fully immunized by Oct. 26.

Read more HERE .

 — Cheryl Chan

667 new cases of COVID-19, 13 deaths

B.C. reported 667 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, for a total of 196,433 cases in the province.

There are 5,128 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 188,851 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 367 individuals are in hospital and 152 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Getting answers on which B.C. schools still need ventilation updates proving frustrating

About 50 schools across B.C. are scheduled for upgrades to their ventilation systems during this academic year, so that the air in these crowded buildings is safer for kids and teachers during the pandemic.

These improvements, funded through the Education Ministry’s capital budget, are in addition to the 84 schools that had HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system updates in the 2020-21 academic year.

The province, however, has nearly 1,600 public schools. So once these projects are completed at these 125 or so schools over the two years since COVID arrived, how many of the remaining schools still need this type of work?

Finding an answer to this question was impossible because there is no centralized list. The ministry has left it up to each of B.C.’s 60 school boards to decide which buildings need ventilation upgrades and how those improvements should be achieved. The ministry has also left communication about these plans with the districts, and as a result many parents and teachers were left frustrated about a lack of clear answers.

Read more HERE.

-Lori Culbert

U.S. will accept mixed doses of vaccines from international travelers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said late on Friday that it will accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from international travelers, a boost to travelers from Canada and other places.

The CDC said last week that it would accept any vaccine authorized for use by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization.

“While CDC has not recommended mixing types of vaccine in a primary series, we recognize that this is increasingly common in other countries so should be accepted for the interpretation of vaccine records,” a CDC spokeswoman said.

The White House said Friday the new vaccine requirements for foreign nationals traveling to the United States will begin Nov. 8 for visitors crossing at land borders as well as international air travelers.

-Reuters

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:

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