Canada

COVID-19 update for Sept. 24: 743 new cases, seven deaths | VCH to open drop-in clinics at Langara College and VCC | Case counts rising in kids 10 and younger | Anti-vaxxers punish some law-abiding restaurants

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. 24, 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. 23:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 181,769 (5,697 active cases)
• New cases since Sept. 22: 832
• Total deaths: 1,915 (five additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 330
• Intensive care: 148 (down nine)
• Total vaccinations: 4,046,960 received first dose; 3,701,696 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 173,786
• 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.

80 per cent of B.C. residents fully vaccinated, most in hospital not fully immunized

B.C. hit the 80 per cent mark with the number of eligible residents who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The province says that compares with nearly 88 per cent of people who have been vaccinated with their initial dose.

On Friday, B.C. recorded 743 new cases of COVID-19. There are currently 5,979 active cases.

The province says that three-quarters of those diagnosed between Sept. 16 and 22 were not fully vaccinated.

Seven more people have died of the infection, for a total of 1,922 fatalities since the pandemic began.

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The province says that after factoring for age, people who are unvaccinated are nearly 26 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated.

— Canadian Press

Vancouver Coastal Health to open vaxx clinics at Langara College and VCC

Vancouver Coastal Health is making it easier for post-secondary students and faculty to get their jab.

Two drop-in vaccination clinics will be opening next week at Langara College and Vancouver Community College’s Broadway campus.

The clinics will be open to the public as well as students, faculty and staff for first or second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. To be eligible for a second dose, it needs to be at least 28 days since the first dose. Appointments are not necessary.

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Langara College (T-Building Gallery – 100 West 49th Street)

Sept. 28, 29 — 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Vancouver Community College – Broadway Campus (VCC Building B – 1120 East 7th Avenue)

Sept. 28 — 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Last month, B.C. instituted new vaccine requirements, with proof of vaccination now required to live in on-campus housing and some on-campus indoor venues including gyms, restaurants, and indoor events such as sporting events and concerts.

Study claiming 1 in 1,000 risk of heart inflammation after COVID vaccine got calculation wrong

The small preprint study by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada’s “largest and foremost” heart centre, was alarming, suggesting that, based on a sample size of just 32 people, Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations carry an estimated one in 1,000 risk of heart inflammation.

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Except the “incidence calculation” was off. Way off. And it wasn’t corrected or withdrawn before creating considerable traffic on Twitter.

The scientists initially estimated the prevalence of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) based on 32 consecutive people admitted to the Heart Institute from June 1 through to the end of July 2021 with a suspected diagnosis of post-vaccination heart inflammation.

The authors calculated that, during the same study period, a total of 32,379 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were administered in the Ottawa area. “Therefore, if our cohort captured all cases in the Ottawa area, then the incidence of myocarditis would be 0.1 per cent of all vaccine doses,” or 10 cases of myocarditis for every 10,000 doses of vaccine, they wrote.

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The researchers said the data collected on vaccine doses came from an Ottawa Public Health open database.

Except their denominator was wrong.

Ottawa Public Health confirmed to the National Post that, during the study period, more than 833,000 mRNA (Pfizer of Moderna) COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Ottawa.

The adjusted incidence is about four per 100,000 doses, which is within the range of recent studies, and vastly lower than the initial estimate.

— National Post

‘It’s been a nightmare’: Anti-vaxxers punish rule-abiding B.C. restaurants

B.C. restaurants are experiencing unfortunate repercussions by following new provincial health rules.

Anti-vaxxers are harassing eateries for complying with B.C.’s proof-of-vaccination program, while take-out businesses face misguided anger from those apparently unaware the vaccine passport doesn’t apply to their restaurants.

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B.C. restaurants are experiencing unfortunate repercussions by following new provincial health rules.

Anti-vaxxers are harassing eateries for complying with B.C.’s proof-of-vaccination program, while take-out businesses face misguided anger from those apparently unaware the vaccine passport doesn’t apply to their restaurants.

Even before COVID-19, the hospitality business was tough at the best of times, with tight margins and lots of risk. The pandemic has only made things more difficult, while eateries and bars struggle with labour shortages and the see-saw of closings and re-openings and ever-changing restrictions.

“Unfortunately, this vaccination card seems to bring out the worst in some people,” said B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association CEO Ian Tostenson. “I just don’t understand their thinking.”

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Tostenson said he believes about 60 or 70 restaurants are openly defying provincial health orders. While that is a tiny fraction — less than 0.5 per cent — of B.C.’s 15,000 foodservice businesses, “it makes us really angry,” Tostenson said. “It’s way offside. … If I said the real word, you probably couldn’t publish it.”

— Dan Fumano

Case counts growing rapidly in under-10s in B.C., while declining in older age groups

Cases of COVID-19 in B.C. are growing rapidly in the age nine-and-under category while declining in other age groups, according to data by mathematician Jens von Bergmann.

Von Bergmann, who is part of the B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group — said he began to notice the trend last Wednesday and that it had accelerated.

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“It’s better to look at the trends, and the trend line has never been this high,” said von Bergmann, who uses daily case counts provided by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) by age group and B.C. Stats age-group data to come up with a case-per-100,000 for each age group.

“Generally we are quite happy that cases are decreasing, but if we have one age group growing and growing consistently, in this case the unvaccinated age group, then that’s becoming a problem. Right now the numbers are still quite low, but when things grow like this it becomes an exponential process. That’s how a virus is replicated.”

Case numbers released Thursday by the BCCDC shows those aged nine-and-under accounted for 17 per cent of the 832 new cases reported — and came a day after there were at least 40 COVID exposure notices issued in B.C. schools and Promontory Heights Elementary in Chilliwack was closed to in-person learning until October after in-class infection over the last 10 days.

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— David Carrigg

Saskatchewan suspends organ donations amid COVID-19 surge

Saskatchewan is indefinitely suspending its organ donation program to cope with rising COVID-19 case rates — which means the gift of life some donors hope to give will never be made.

A memo circulated to intensive care unit staff in Saskatoon and Regina on Thursday says the province’s organ and tissue donor program was put on hold in Saskatoon indefinitely effective Wednesday and will be put on hold in Regina on Monday.

“It would mean that, unfortunately, that gift and that registration that they so kindly provided would not be able to come to fruition,” SHA executive director Lori Garchinski said at a virtual media conference on Thursday.

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The exception may be “immediate tissue donations, particularly for some of our ocular patients,” Garchinski said.

“Our resources however, right now, have to care for the intensive care patients that we’re dealing with.”

An unprecedented 273 patients with COVID-19 were reportedly in hospital on Thursday, including 58 in intensive care. The SHA has cancelled all elective procedures and swaths of other services to divert staff to emergency rooms and intensive care units.

— Postmedia News

Canada needs to share more COVID-19 vaccine surpluses with world: UN envoy Bob Rae

OTTAWA — Canada’s envoy to the United Nations says Canada needs to share more of its COVID-19 vaccine surpluses with less fortunate countries.

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Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, told The Canadian Press on Thursday that while Canadians may have been looking inward lately because of the federal election, they can’t lose sight of the fact the pandemic won’t end unless more is done to help less fortunate countries.

“We have to recognize that we have to continue to look for ways in which we can distribute more of any surpluses that we have now in Canada,” Rae said.

It is in Canada’s national interest to do more internationally because of the fact the country’s economy is dependent on international trade and the rise of new variants, Rae said.

According to the Our World In Data project which is tracking COVID-19 cases and vaccinations globally, 49.87 per cent of people in Asia have received at least one vaccine dose, while 35.14 are fully vaccinated. Africa stands at 6.29 per cent with at least one dose, and 4.08 per cent fully vaccinated.

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In Canada, 75.8 per cent of total population has received at least one dose while 69.8 per cent of the total population is fully vaccinated.

— The Canadian Press


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:


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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