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

Author of the article:

Scott Brown, Tiffany Crawford, Cheryl Chan, David Carrigg

Publishing date:

Mar 13, 2021  •  8 hours ago  •  5 minute read  •  20 Comments FILE PHOTO: The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 29, 2020. Photo by Handout . /via REUTERS Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for March 13, 2021.

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 March 12:

Total number of confirmed cases: 86,867 (5,070 active)
• New cases since March 11: 648
• Total deaths: 1,397 (0 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 255
• Intensive care: 67
• Total vaccinations: 380,743 people are immunized, of whom 87,024 have had a second dose.
• Cases under public health monitoring: 9,155
• Recovered: 80,325
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 19

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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus

B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

• COVID-19: Here’s a list of all the vaccination clinics in B.C.

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

• COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

• 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

• 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.

6 p.m. – Two new possible exposures reported in Vancouver

Vancouver Coastal Health reported two possible COVID-19 exposures – both at Vancouver bars.

According to the health authority anyone who visited The Blarney Stone (216 Carrall St.) on March 5 should self-monitor for symptoms.

Similarly, anyone who was at Bimini’s Beer Hall (2010 W 4th Ave.) on March 6 should self-monitor.

Both exposures are “believed to be low-risk” and VCH is not recommending self-isolation at this time.

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11 a.m. – Outbreak declared at Langley glass manufacturing business

Health officials have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a glass manufacturing business in Langley.

The Fraser Health Authority said Saturday that 44 employees of Vitrum Glass, a glass manufacturer located at 9785 – 201 Street, have tested positive for the virus.

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Fraser Health says those identified as infected and their close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate.

The agency also says it has conducted testing and provided COVID-19 immunizations on-site as measures to stop the transmission occurring at the facility.

Fraser Health says it is taking “an aggressive COVID-19 management and response approach” to high-risk work settings, including the food processing industry, and farm operations and nurseries where workers are in crowded accommodations.

“We are using a number of different means to manage COVID-19 outbreaks, such as immunization for cluster and outbreak control. We are confident that this will help us protect our communities as well as those workplaces,” health officials said, in a news release Saturday.

Meantime Saturday, Fraser Health declared COVID-19 outbreaks over at Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence in Mission and at Royal Columbian Hospital.

5 a.m. – COVID might have been in Canada earlier than when it was first identified: expert

The novel coronavirus might have reached Canada weeks before the first official case was diagnosed in late January of 2020, says an expert who tracks pandemics.

Prof. Sarah Otto of the University of British Columbia said it is possible there were infections of COVID-19 a month or two before the first official case.

A traveller could have returned to Canada and was just getting over the illness or was sick and didn’t go out while they were infectious, she said.

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Reconstructing early travel patterns of those carrying COVID-19 around the world might lead to better policies before pandemics take hold, said Otto, who is an expert on the mathematical models of pandemic growth and control in the university’s zoology department.

“I don’t think that we had any cases that then sparked community spread,” she said.

Researchers have developed a phylogenetic or family tree of the COVID-19 strains from around the world to determine when the virus was in the community, she said. They analyzed over 700,000 sequences of its genome from positive cases since it was first found in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

-The Canadian Press

5 a.m. – B.C. First Nations Health Authority hopes all Indigenous adults vaccinated in Phase 2

The top doctor at British Columbia’s First Nations Health Authority says she is “hopeful” all Indigenous adults in the province, including those who don’t live on reserves, will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine in the second phase of the immunization program.

B.C. has so far only committed to vaccinating residents of First Nations communities and other Indigenous adults over 65 in Phase 2, despite the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommending that all Indigenous adults be vaccinated during that stage.

However, Dr. Shannon McDonald, the acting chief medical officer of the First Nations Health Authority, said “active planning” is underway to expand the eligibility to more Indigenous adults who live away from their home communities in the coming weeks.

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“It has been an ongoing discussion with government, but there’s more flexibility being shown,” McDonald said. “The conversation has gone on and what’s developing, though it’s not all written in stone yet, is a hybrid model.

“We have the advantage now that there is vaccine available and lots more vaccine coming available in the next while.”

She said the “hybrid model” would allow for extra doses to be sent to First Nations communities so that their health workers could immunize Indigenous people who live nearby but aren’t members. These locations could hold drive-thru clinics or take other measures to minimize the risk of outsiders travelling into the community, she added.

12 a.m. – B.C. reports 648 new cases, no new deaths

On Friday, B.C. reported 648 new cases, including two epidemiologically-linked cases, and no new deaths.

Fraser Health had the most number of cases (372), followed by Vancouver Coastal Health (149, Northern Health (56), Interior Health (39) and Vancouver Island Health (32).

Another 79 new variant cases were detected, bringing the total in B.C. to 717. Out of these, 99 remain active.

12 a.m. – Outbreak at UBC Hospital 

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the University of B.C. Hospital.

Vancouver Coastal Health says three patients have tested positive for the virus at the Complex Activation Medical Unit at UBC Hospital.

The CAMU unit is closed to new admissions and transfers at this time.

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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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