Canada

COVID-19 update for Sept. 22: ‘These vaccines do not affect fertility’: Henry | COVID patients taking up 1/3 of ICU beds | Woman attacked on SkyTrain in mask dispute

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Sept. 22, 2021.

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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Sept. 21:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 180,178 (5,282 active cases)
• New cases since Sept. 20: 525
• Total deaths: 1,900 (One additional death)
• Hospitalized cases: 332
• Intensive care: 155 (down one)
• Total vaccinations: 4,031,909 received first dose; 3,685,799 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 172,624
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 22

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IN-DEPTH:Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

Dr. Henry refutes conspiracy theory around fertility as vaccine disinformation spreads

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has taken aim at a COVID-19 conspiracy theory she believes could prevent women or men wanting to have a baby from getting immunized.

Henry said there were several reasons for vaccine hesitancy in B.C. at the moment in different communities, and one was fear due to misinformation and disinformation spread on social media.

“There is misinformation, which is just things that are unintentionally wrong or bits of information that are taken out of context,” Henry said. “In some cases, in particular on social media, there is very pointed disinformation, intentionally misleading information, that is sent out there by certain groups of people to incite fear about the vaccines.

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She said one of those conspiracy theories was that vaccination can impact fertility in women and men.

“I can say unequivocally these vaccines do not affect fertility, both in women, or in boys, or in young men. They do not affect fertility. There is no way that they can do that. But that is one of the common lies that is out there right now designed to create fear.”

B.C. now has almost 3.7 million people fully vaccinated, or 79.5 per cent of those aged 12 and over. However, there remains more than 600,000 people eligible who have not received any vaccine.

— David Carrigg

Frustrated Canadian snowbirds make other plans as U.S. extends land border closure

Panicked snowbirds had held off booking winter reservations at Marilyn Stone’s Fort Camping RV sites that she manages in Fort Langley, Agassiz and Parksville in the hopes that the U.S. would finally ease border restrictions that have been in place since the start of COVID-19 in March 2020.

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But now, with the White House announcing this week that restrictions at the land border on non-essential travel by Canadians will be extended until Oct. 21, some are worried “it’s getting too late” to start driving south, said Stone.

Waiting another month to see whether the land border will be opened means they’ll have to deal with winter driving conditions in late October and early November.

“Phones started to ring yesterday and people who had been holding off were more panic-stricken, asking, ‘Do you have a place?’ ” said Stone. “They don’t want to go over the mountains with their big rigs (that late).

Canadian travellers to the U.S. can currently only arrive for non-essential reasons by air.

The Canadian Snowbird Association said Tuesday it has “been engaging with U.S. government officials and agencies to safely reopen the land border to Canadian citizens as soon as possible. This is an advocacy priority as over 70 per cent of Canadian snowbirds travel to the U.S. with their Canadian vehicles.”

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News of the land border restrictions for Canadians being extended came on the same day that the White House announced it plans to begin opening air travel for all vaccinated foreign nationals in early November.

Joanne Lee-Young

COVID-19 patients taking up a third of all Intensive Care Unit beds in B.C.

A third of all Intensive Care Unit beds in B.C. are now occupied by COVID-19 patients, the latest Ministry of Health figures show.

According to data provided to Postmedia News on Tuesday, there are 474 people in ICU beds across the province. Of those, 155 are suffering from COVID-19 — or 33 per cent — including several young unvaccinated pregnant women.

The figures state there are 510 base ICU beds in major hospitals across six health authorities (including the Provincial Health Services Authority) and 218 overflow, or surge occupancy, beds.

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Interior Health is in the worst position ICU bed-wise, with base beds almost completely occupied (85) and 30 per cent of the overflow beds now in use (six) — this is the highest among all the health authorities.

Despite the Ministry of Health now flying some very sick people out of Northern Health hospitals for ICU treatment, this health region is using none of its surge beds and just 72.5 per cent (29) of its base beds. This is the lowest percentage of base bed occupation across all health authorities.

The reason patients are being transferred out of Northern Health is because of staffing problems — for example, not enough nurses.

— David Carrigg

Woman attacked on SkyTrain over mask dispute

Metro Vancouver Transit Police say a woman was attacked on SkyTrain on Monday after she confronted a couple for not wearing masks.

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Police say the incident happened at around 7:20 p.m. on a train travelling east toward Burnaby.

The woman told police she asked two maskless passengers who were sitting close to her if they had masks that they could put on.

“To which they replied with, ‘What’s it to you?,’ ” Transit Police said in a statement.

Police say the female suspect then got out of her seat and struck the woman, knocking her to the ground. Both suspects then allegedly hit the woman while she was on the floor before they exited the train at Metrotown Station.

Police say the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

“The circumstances surrounding this incident are troubling,” Transit Police spokesman Const. Mike Yake said in a statement.


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

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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B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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