Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 28, 2020.
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.
B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS
As of the latest figures given on Oct. 28:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 13,875 (2,316 active)
• New cases since Oct. 27: 287
• Hospitalized cases: 87
• Intensive care: 25
• COVID-19 related deaths: 261
• Cases under public health monitoring: 5,358
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 22
B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS
LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.
The U.S. government has agreed to buy 300,000 vials of a COVID-19 antibody drug that was developed by Vancouver company AbCellera Biologics.
On Wednesday, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly reported the deal — worth $375 million US and conditional upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granting an emergency-use authorization for the drug.
Michael McDougall, spokesman for Eli Lilly, said the application for emergency use was made in early October and the company was waiting for a response. The FDA has granted an emergency-use permit for the antiviral medication remdesivir, and last month permitted an antibody drug manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to be used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump.
Eli Lilly struck a deal with AbCellera in March to co-develop antibody drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, using AbCellera’s technology that rapidly identifies immune cells that can be replicated and used to attack infections. The company says its drug — bamlanivimab — was the world’s first therapeutic candidate specifically developed against COVID-19 to enter human clinical trials.
There have been 287 new cases of COVID-19 reported over the past day and two deaths.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were now 2,316 active cases of the disease, with 87 of those cases being treated in hospital – including 25 in intensive care.
Henry said there are 5,358 people in self isolation after being potentially exposed to the virus, and 11,244 people who had been recovered.
There have been 261 deaths from COVID-19 in B.C.
There are 22 active outbreaks in health-care facilities including a new one at the PICS Society assisted-living facility in Surrey. The outbreaks at Dr. Al Hogg Pavilion and at Delta Hospital have been declared over.
Henry said there had been a fresh community outbreak at the Okanagan Men’s Centre addiction treatment facility north of Kelowna.
On March 17, Roger Pinette was feeling chills and coughing, so he asked his wife for a hot water bottle, and lay down for a nap. Forty days later, he woke up in the middle of a pandemic.
At the time, COVID-19 had only begun to slowly creep into the public consciousness. On March 11, there were 21 cases in B.C.; two weeks later, there were 792, and Pinette — unbeknownst to him — was one of them.
Roger Pinette was on a ventilator in hospital for 40 days as he battled COVID-19, and his recovery will take months, perhaps years to come.
By the time he work up in the intensive care unit at Royal Columbian Hospital, having been ventilated for 40 days — one of the first patients in B.C. to be in ICU on a ventilator — the first surge had passed, and the curve was flattening.
“So I slept through it all,” the 73-year-old Langley resident said with a chuckle. “I was really lucky in that regard, that I didn’t have to live the whole time knowing I had something that was killing some people.
“When I finally did come to the world … I was a bit shocked because I didn’t realize the seriousness of what I had been through.”
Pinette survived and is home again, but like many other “long-haulers,” is still clawing his way back to health.
Surrey RCMP are warning revellers not to attend or host any Halloween parties while COVID-19 transmission continues to be on the rise.
On the Wednesday before Halloween, police issued a statement reminding individuals that Surrey RCMP’s COVID-19 compliance team will be patrolling the city this weekend to watch for anyone hosting parties at private residences with more than six non-residential guests against the orders of the provincial health officer.
“The teams will be enforcing orders enacted under the COVID Related Measures Act, which not only apply to businesses or events but also to individuals at private residences,” said police.
“Underground dance parties or clubs are strictly prohibited and we are encouraging the public to keep gatherings small, adequately distanced, and safe.”
A youth soccer club in Chilliwack has hired a security firm to patrol the sidelines during games because of what the club describes as “borderline violent” confrontations over COVID-19 restrictions.
In a letter posted on the Chilliwack FC website Tuesday, chair Andrea Laycock says some parents have made “poor decisions” about how they respond to contact tracers working with the team.
Laycock writes that some parents have treated contact tracers, club volunteers and staff so poorly that “it can be considered a potential violence in the workplace issue.”
Provincial health restrictions limit attendance at games to 49 and Chilliwack FC says enforcing that order means limiting each player to a single spectator.
Laycock says, in addition to the security firm doing “periodic sweeps” of venues, parents must sign the club’s COVID-19 policy by Thursday or their child will not be allowed to attend practices or games.
If any further issues are reported, she says offenders risk being banned from games or expelled from the club.
“We understand and respect these are difficult times for many of us but we simply cannot condone the shockingly poor behaviour we’ve seen the past couple of weeks,” Laycock says.
-The Canadian Press
12 a.m. – 217 new cases, no additional deaths
B.C. health officials reported 217 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday in the province.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, says there are now 2,322 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 5,101 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.
In total, there have been 13,588 cases in British Columbia, with 10,954 people who have recovered.
No new deaths were reported Tuesday, so the death toll from the disease remains 259.
12 a.m. – Fraser Health officials ask people not to hold private Halloween parties
Health officials in B.C.’s Fraser Valley are urging people not to hold private parties this Halloween weekend in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, chief medical health officer for Fraser Health, says it’s fine to take children trick-or-treating in a safe way or get together in a restaurant, but people should refrain from gathering in homes.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has also said private gatherings in the Lower Mainland are the main driver of the rising COVID-19 case count in B.C.
12 a.m. – B.C.’s state of emergency extended
B.C. health officials have extended the province’s state of emergency declaration due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The state of emergency has been extended through end of day on Nov. 10, and allows staff to continue taking necessary actions to manage the pandemic response.
The state of emergency was first declared on March 18.
LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information
Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.
–with files from The Canadian Press