Friday November 27, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
A record number of daily new test-positive cases of COVID-19 was reported today on November 27 by the BC Centre of Disease Control (for the second day in a row). Today’s tally was 911 on the tail of yesterday’s 887. Total cases in BC now tally to 30,884.
BC Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix addressed media for the third time this week, but didn’t have much to add this afternoon. Just reminders of things they’ve been saying for weeks. Not that it doesn’t bear repeating — socialize only with your own household, wear a mask in all indoor spaces, get outdoors for physical activity and fresh air, and that being kind and thoughtful to others will help everyone get through this pandemic more successfully.
The only new thread today was finally referring to the seriousness of COVID-19. Up til now the messaging has been a lot of numbers and advisories, but not much that strikes at a gut level. Today: “Let’s remind ourselves about the severity of this illness and that small, simple actions make a very big difference.”
Today Dr Henry said: “When we let our guard down, this virus can transmit very easily.”
Not everyone likes to publicly reveal their health experiences. But the more that media carry interviews with people who’ve experienced the challenge of COVID-19 infection (including impacts that can linger), the more people may start paying attention to the official messaging.
When guard is let down:
Today Health Minister Dix got specific about not letting down our guard. “There is an absolute need to be careful in lunchrooms and common areas at work. Follow the COVID safety guidelines,” Dix said. “Ensure your safety when taking time off.”
Dr Henry has mentioned a few times this week and last how people are following the safety protocols at work when dealing with the public but then let their guard down in non-public moments. That also includes when carpooling to or from work.
Vaccines on the horizon:
Most people in public health and governments across Canada are somewhere between cautiously optimistic and excited about the various vaccines under development and nearing production.
An important step is the vaccines being reviewed by Health Canada for approval. “Safety of vaccines is paramount,” said Dr Henry today. And she declared: “We will see vaccines early in 2021 as predicted.”
Distribution of the vaccines:
Canada has signed contracts for vaccines from seven different sources, with an approach of not putting all their eggs in one basket. No one knows which vaccines will be effective or approved as safe.
The federal government is saying vaccines will be available in the first quarter of 2021 (January to March). There has been some conflicting information coming out of provinces and from federal officials as to a roll-out date for vaccines and how many will be available to each province.
As the work continues to provide every Canadian with access to a vaccine, today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at a press conference from his home in Ottawa Friday morning that Major-General Dany Fortin and other general officers and staff of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Department of National Defence (DND) are assisting the government’s efforts. Details were also addressed by Health Minister Patty Hajdu and National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
Assigned to oversee logistical planning, Major General Dany Fortin is being named Vice President Logistics and Operations at PHAC. He has extensive experience leading complex operations, including the stand-up of NATO Mission Iraq in 2018.
The CAF has an array of experience and logistical expertise to assist logistics planning and operations. To that end, 27 CAF personnel, with more to follow, are currently seconded to PHAC, including logistics experts, operational planners, pharmacists, health care administrators, engineers, and information technology experts.
Provinces are responsible for the delivery of health care. The federal government provides overall policy influence (as well as standards and guidelines) and funding.
BC COVID stats at November 27:
Now 8,472 cases are active (up from 7,899 yesterday) in BC, with an even higher number of people hospitalized today (301) compared to yesterday (294). More of the hospitalized COVID suffers are in intensive care (69 today compared to 64 yesterday). All other active cases are being dealt with by people at home in self-isolation.
As well, 10,430 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases (up from 10,307 yesterday). They are at home self-isolating.
Now 21,304 who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.
The regional distribution of cases is about the same — i.e. seeing most in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions in the lower mainland. The distribution of 911 new cases is seen in Fraser Health (649), Vancouver Coastal (153), Island Health (27), Interior Health (47) and Northern Health (35). There were no new cases among Canadians who reside outside of Canada.
On two days this week there were 13 COVID-related deaths, and today it was 11. These are all untimely deaths, due to a virus that didn’t even exist a year ago, and which seems to has a particularly rapid and vicious impact on people who succumb to it in the worst way. The COVID death total in BC is now 395.
There are three new health-care facility outbreaks. at these facilities: German Canadian Benevolent Society Home, Villa Cathay and Morgan Place Care. The Kiwanis Care Centre outbreak is over. (See list of all long-term care events, at the bottom of this article).
There have been no new community outbreaks. But there are four school exposures on Vancouver Island, including the newest one yesterday at Sir James Douglas Elementary (SD61) in the Fairfield neighbourhood of Victoria.
Vancouver Island COVID stats at November 27:
There were 27 new cases of COVID-19 test-positive infection reported in Island Health today (up from 18 yesterday). That brings the total on Vancouver Island to 571 of which 184 are currently active.
The distribution of 184 active cases is 45 in the South Vancouver Island area, 112 in central and 26 in the north (that is off by one case, in a discrepancy with the BC CDC dashboard).
Total case distribution all year in Island Health has been 183 in the south, 256 in central, and 132 in the north, for a total of 571 cases.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Island Health is up to six now and was five yesterday (hasn’t been this high since the first wave), with two in intensive care today.
There have been no new COVID deaths since September 28 on Vancouver Island; the total rests at six.
COVID deaths compared to influenza:
Generally, COVID-19 acts more rapidly and more ferociously than influenza viruses, especially in people with challenged immune systems (including due to age). So far this year in Canada, 11,894 people have died from COVID-19. By comparison, 3,500 people (or about one-third of the COVID tally) died of influenza in the 2019-2020 flu season.
Very likely the lower flu rate even to March 2020 and again this fall is due to additional public health protocols that people are now following due to COVID (such as physical distancing and hand washing).
This year (as of October 24, 2020) influenza activity remains below average for this time of year across Canada, says the Public Health Agency of Canada.
BC GOVERNMENT LINKS:
For information on overdoses, visit: https://www.stopoverdose.gov.bc.ca
People in B.C. experiencing violence can access VictimLink, a toll-free, confidential multilingual service available 24/7 by calling or texting 1 800 563-0808 or emailing: VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca (mailto:VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca)
For more details on the provincial health officer’s (PHO) Nov. 19 orders, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Nov. 12, 2020, modeling update:
To see a map of COVID-19 cases by local health area, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
If you are experiencing symptoms, find a collection centre near you to get tested: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing
For a listing of the community exposure events, go to:
BC Centre for Disease Control (flights, work sites, etc.): http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure
Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/
Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/outbreaks-and-exposures
Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures
Vancouver Coastal: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures
For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:
Backgrounder on Long-Term Care:
Assisted-living, long-term care homes, seniors’ rental buildings with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks
Assisted living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings:
Vancouver Coastal Health – 14 facilities
* Arbutus Care Centre (second occurrence)
* Banfield Pavilion
* Capilano Care Centre
* Columbus Residence
* German Canadian Benevolent Society Home
* Holy Family Hospital (fourth occurrence)
* Little Mountain Place (second occurrence)
* Louis Brier Home & Hospital
* Renfrew Care Centre
* Royal Arch Masonic Home (second occurrence)
* Royal Ascot Care Centre
* Three Links Care Centre
* Windermere Care Centre
* Youville Residence
* Villa Cathay
Fraser Health – 32 facilities
* Agassiz Seniors Community
* Agecare Harmony Court Care Centre
* Agecare Harmony Court Estates
* Al Hogg Pavilion (second occurrence)
* Amenida Seniors Community
* Amica White Rock (second occurrence)
* Belvedere Care Centre
* Care Life Fleetwood (second occurrence)
* Chartwell Langley Gardens (second occurrence)
* Cottage-Worthington Pavilion
* Fellburn Care Centre
* Finnish Manor
* Fort Langley Seniors Community
* George Derby Centre (second occurrence)
* Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre
* Harrison Pointe
* Hawthorne Senior Care Community – assisted living
* Hawthorne Seniors Care Community – long-term care
* Holyrood Manor
* Jackman Manor
* Laurel Place
* Menno Home
* Morgan Place Care Facility
* Northcrest Care Centre
* PICS Assisted Living (third occurrence)
* Queen’s Park Care Centre
* Sunset Manor (second occurrence)
* Tabor Home (second occurrence)
* The Residence at Clayton Heights
* The Residence in Mission
* White Rock Senior Village (second occurrence)
* Valley Haven Care Home
Northern Health – two facilities
* North Peace Seniors Housing Society
* Rotary Manor Dawson Creek
Interior Health – two facilities
* Orchard Manor
* Sun Pointe Village
Island Health – two facilities
* Discovery Harbour Care
* Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens
* Burnaby Hospital
* Langley Memorial Hospital
* Lions Gate Hospital
* Ridge Meadows Hospital
* Surrey Memorial Hospital