COVID-19 update for Feb. 15: Here’s the latest on coronavirus in B.C.

February 16, 2022 by No Comments


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 Feb. 15, 2022.

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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 Feb. 15:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 341,532
• New cases: 519 (data not accurate due to government computer issue)
• Total deaths: 2,766 (two new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 787
• Intensive care: 124
• Total vaccinations: 4,506,631 received first dose (90.4% of eligible pop. 5+); 4,252,281 second doses (85.3%); 2,454,932 third doses (53% of adults)
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 39

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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: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

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

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.

New vaccines on way for B.C.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said two new vaccines were expected to be available in B.C. shortly.

She said the vaccines, Novavax and Medicago, were “more traditional sub-unit vaccines that will be available for those people who have concerns about mRNA vaccines.”

B.C. predominantly uses the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines but also used the AstraZeneca vaccine early in the pandemic.

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“We are hopeful that we’ll hear from Health Canada about two other vaccines that will be available hopefully very shortly, the Novavax vaccine and Medicago, which are really important options and effective vaccines for people who either can’t or aren’t able to take the mRNA vaccines,” she said.

Henry said B.C. had one of the highest vaccination rates of any jurisdiction in the world.

As of Tuesday, 90.4 per cent of all British Columbians aged five and over had received at least one dose of vaccine. Fifty five per cent of B.C. adults have received their third booster shot.

Hospital numbers continue to fall as two deaths reported

The number of people in hospital either because they have COVID-19 or with COVID-19 fell below 800 on Tuesday to 787 — with 124 of those cases in intensive care. Hospitalizations were over 1,000 per day at the start of February and have been falling steadily since.

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Two people were reported to have died over the past day, brining that total to 2,766 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

There are 39 active outbreaks in health care settings.

“We are starting to see now that transmission in our communities and the subsequent hospitalizations are starting to come down,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

Back to normal for pubs, restaurants and nightclubs as COVID-19 restrictions lifted

People can dance again in nightclubs and pubs as of Thursday, after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry lifted a series of COVID-19 restrictions.

Wedding and funeral receptions will also be permitted at full capacity and theatres, fitness facilities, swimming pools and events like Canucks games would also be completely reopened.

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This means that most restrictions contained in the gatherings and events order have been lifted.

Henry said indoor personal gatherings can return to normal, while restaurants, bars and nightclubs can return to full capacity with no table limits. Mingling and dancing will be allowed. Adults sports tournaments will also now permitted.

Restrictions on faith community guidelines will remain in place, as will restrictions on child and youth overnight camps. People attending faith gatherings do not have to prove they are vaccinated, but gatherings can only be at half capacity if at least one person is not vaccinated.

Henry said other restrictions — such as visitor access to long-term care — will be reviewed in April.

Proof of vaccination using the B.C. Vaccine Card will still be required to access most indoor facilities (including pubs, restaurants and fitness facilities) and mask rules will remain in place.

Read the full story here.

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B.C. COVID restrictions lifted: A list of what you’ll be able to do as of Feb. 16

On Tuesday afternoon, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced changes to some of British Columbia’s wide-ranging COVID-19 restrictions.

he come into effect on Feb. 16 at 11:59 p.m. — which is when the previous gatherings and events order was set to expire.

This comes as B.C. moves from a COVID-19 pandemic to endemic — in which the disease is consistently present (like HIV, hepatitis C and many of the common flus) but is not out of control.

Click here for a look at some of the key COVID-19 restrictions in place and which ones have changed.

Travellers will no longer need a molecular COVID test to get into Canada

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says vaccinated travellers will no longer need a molecular COVID-19 test to enter Canada starting Feb. 28 because the COVID-19 situation in Canada has improved.

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Travellers can instead opt for a rapid antigen test approved by the country they are coming from.

Unvaccinated children travelling with vaccinated adults who come to Canada will no longer have to isolate from school or daycare for 14 days.

Some fully vaccinated travellers might still be randomly selected for a molecular test at the airport, but they will not be required to quarantine while they wait for the result.

Unvaccinated Canadians will need to be tested at the airport and isolate upon arrival.

The government also plans to lift its advisory urging Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country due to the risk of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

—The Canadian Press

COVID-19 patients who suffer strokes at higher risk for severe disability and death: study

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COVID-19 patients who suffer strokes appear to be at higher risk for severe disability or death, compared with pre-pandemic stroke patients who have never had COVID, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, reviewed data from 30 stroke centres across the U.S. and Canada and found that of all COVID-19 patients treated for strokes, 51 per cent had poor outcome with 39.1 per cent dying in hospital or within 30 days of being discharged.

Prior to the pandemic, just 27.6 per cent of stroke patients died shortly after the stroke event.

“There is an interaction that is still unknown between COVID respiratory disease and stroke,” said researcher Adam A. Dmytriw, an interventional neuroradiology & endovascular neurosurgery fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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“Because the rate of poor outcomes or mortality is clearly greater than it would be in someone who had just an acute respiratory distress syndrome or COVID pneumonia, and also worse than someone who would have an equivalently large stroke in the pre-COVID era.”

—Stephanie Ip

B.C. divided over easing of restrictions

B.C. is expected to announce the easing of COVID restrictions on Tuesday at a time when British Columbians remain divided on support for the move and as hospitalizations are coming down.

Restrictions on the size of indoor gatherings put in place before Christmas are to expire on Wednesday and the restrictions could be ended, extended or modified. B.C.’s public health officer promised last week she would release details on pandemic protocols “on how we will move forward.”

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“Being allowed to do more things with fewer restrictions,” predicted Dr. Brian Conway, medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre. “There will be some relaxing of guidelines for meeting indoors of private residences.”

But even as other provinces announce the loosening of mask mandates for schoolchildren (Alberta) or the retirement of vaccine passports (Ontario on March 1), Conway said B.C. likely will be more cautious.

Hospitalizations due to COVID are dropping in B.C. Numbers released Monday showed 803 people in hospital, down from 846 three days ago and around 1,000 a month ago. The number in ICU dropped 17 to 119 since Friday, which equalled the number of deaths, 17, over the three days.

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Read the full story here.

—Susan Lazaruk

Ontario to end vaccine passports, lift restrictions ‘in spite’ of protests

Ontario will remove most pandemic restrictions, including vaccine passports, by March 1 and loosen capacity limits sooner, Premier Doug Ford announced Monday. Masks will still be required indoors in public spaces until at least mid-March.

The announcement, which came as convoy protesters occupied Ottawa for an 18th day and the federal government enacted the Emergencies Act, brought accusations that the province had caved in to convoy demands.

Ford denied that, saying Monday’s announcement occurred “not because of what is happening in Ottawa and Windsor, but in spite of it.”

Still, at least some saw the announcement as a victory for the convoy movement.

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“Now Ontario. Vaccine passports gone in 2 weeks,” tweeted Conservative MP and leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre, who has been a vocal supporter of the protesters. “Keep the momentum going.”

Ford and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said Ontario is removing pandemic measures because of dropping COVID-19 hospitalizations and a stabilizing health workforce, which has allowed non-urgent surgeries to resume in many hospitals.

—Elizabeth Payne



DEATHS BY HEALTH AUTHORITY


WHAT’S HAPPENING ACROSS CANADA


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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