Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 5, 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 Nov. 5:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 16,560 (3,389 active)
• New cases since Nov. 2: 425
• Hospitalized cases: 97
• Intensive care: 24
• COVID-19 related deaths: 273 (0 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 7,519
• Recovered: 12,806
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 32
B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS
LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.
3 p.m. – Health officials announce 425 additional cases, no new deaths
Health officials confirmed 425 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. on Thursday, the highest one-day total so far.
Hospitalizations across the province rose to 97. There were no new deaths.
A B.C. man has been charged with violating the Quarantine Act after returning from an out-of-country flat earth conference, and bragging about his refusal to self-isolate during a rally in downtown Vancouver.
Makhan Singh Parhar, 47, was arrested Monday by New Westminster police, less than a week after re-entering Canada from the United States.
Parhar recently returned from Greenville, South Carolina, where he attended Flatoberfest 2020 — a one-day gathering of self-described “alternative cosmology enthusiasts.”
Even after receiving a violation ticket, Parhar continued leaving his residence, New Westminster police said in a news release.
Fraser Health is warning the public about potential COVID-19 exposure at a sports bar in Surrey.
The health agency says anyone who visited Baselines Pub at 8233 166 Street in the Fleetwood neighbourhood between Oct. 23 and 26 may have been exposed to the virus.
The exposure threat is considered low risk, but Fraser Health advises those visited the pub on those days to monitor themselves for symptoms.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is blasting the B.C. government for shortchanging the province’s biggest cities, including his, in the distribution of COVID-19 recovery funds.
The city is already looking at cuts, including possible layoffs, as well as the largest drawdown in recent memory from reserve funds to make up for a $60 million revenue shortfall in the 2021 budget. But on Wednesday, Stewart told city council he was shocked to learn the city’s finances are under even more pressure than previously thought; while they had anticipated almost $60 million of COVID-19 relief, instead they’ll only receive $16.3 million.
Health officials confirmed 335 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 1 new death. New outbreaks were declared at three more healthcare facilities, bringing the total number of such facilities contending with outbreaks to 31.
12 a.m. – Dr. Tam now recommends three-layer masks
The new federal recommendation to wear a face mask with three layers of protection will be easy to follow for anyone who bought them with the opening for an optional filter.
The handmade fabric masks Stephanie Schneider created and sold at her East Vancouver designer studio Glasnost soon after COVID-19 hit have always had an opening for inserting a “filter” layer.
“I hadn’t had any requests (for masks with openings), but everybody buying them had the option to put in a filter, just in case it was suggested (someday),” she said.
She didn’t sell the filters but customers told her they made their own using blue absorbent shop towels or square pieces cut from microfibre shopping bags.
The new recommendation comes from Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, who this week said non-medical masks should be made of at least three layers. She stressed their importance in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 as the cold weather pushes people indoors amid a second in cases.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said masks should be made of two layers of tightly woven fabric such as cotton or linen, plus a third layer of a “filter-type fabric” such as polypropylene, a non-woven man-made fabric. Tam also said it’s most important that the masks fit snugly, ideally with a nose pinch, and cover the nose and mouth.
Severe cases of COVID-19 may rise in the coming days and weeks as hospitalizations and deaths catch up to the recent spread of the illness, Canada’s chief public health officer warned on Wednesday.Dr. Theresa Tam said hospitalizations and deaths trail behind new cases, raising concerns that the worst impacts of the second wave could be yet to come.
“As hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity,” she said in a statement.
“As well, influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the fall and winter, placing increased demands on hospitals.”
Tam said the number of severe cases continues to rise across the country, with an average of almost 1,200 people in hospital and 40 new deaths per day across Canada in the last seven days.
The Canadian Press
Summer may have provided a welcome reprieve from the monotony of isolation, but it didn’t do much to slow the spread of COVID-19. Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin have found that temperature and humidity are minor players in the war against the virus and said the main factor fuelling transmission is human behaviour.
Their work, which was published last week in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , found that travel and time away from home were to blame for up to 60 per cent of the spread of the virus.
“The effect of weather is low and other features such as mobility have more impact,” said Dev Niyogi, lead researcher and professor at UT Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences and Cockrell School of Engineering. “In terms of relative importance, weather is one of the last parameters.”
The Bow & Stern seafood restaurant in Abbotsford has been temporarily closed after staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Fraser Health says the possible exposures occurred on Oct. 24 (5-10 p.m.), 25 (3-10 p.m.) and 26 (5:30-10:30 p.m.)
Anyone who may have been at the Bow & Stern at 2551 Montrose Ave. on those dates is advised to self-monitor for symptoms.
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