Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 6, 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. 6:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 17,149 (3,741 active)
• New cases since Nov. 5: 589
• Hospitalized cases: 104
• Intensive care: 28
• COVID-19 related deaths: 275 (2 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 7,887
• Recovered: 13,035
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 35
B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS
LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.
3 p.m. – Health officials announce 589 new cases, 2 new deaths
B.C. health officials confirmed a staggering 589 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest one-day total since the pandemic began, by far.
Two more people have died from the coronavirus, bringing deaths to 275, and there are six new health-care facilities contending with outbreaks.
12:45 p.m. – Trudeau says first COVID-19 vaccines will face distribution hurdles in the new year
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says some COVID-19 vaccine candidates expected in the new year will pose significant logistical and distribution challenges.
Trudeau says he hopes a viable vaccine will be available to Canadians in the spring but notes some of the initial doses will require special handling that could complicate distribution efforts.
“We know that some of the first vaccines to come out have extremely high degrees of logistical support necessary — things like freezers that can keep the vaccines down at -80 degrees Celsius for example, which doesn’t lend itself to mass distribution in pharmacies across the country, for example, but later vaccines that will be arriving will be able to do that,” Trudeau said Friday.
“So we have to have a very sophisticated plan to be able to roll out vaccines the right way; the right vaccines in the right place to the right people.”
Earlier this week the National Advisory Committee on Immunization outlined four key groups that should be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Trudeau says those include populations with “a high degree of vulnerability,” such as Indigenous peoples and frontline health workers.
The Canadian Press
British Columbian led the country with 33,500 new jobs in October as the province continues its slow employment recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Statistics Canada’s monthly jobs report, B.C.’s unemployment rate now sits at 8 per cent, down from 8.4 in September.
The sectors with biggest jumps were health care and social assistance (8,400 new jobs), manufacturing (5,900 new jobs), information, culture and recreation (4,200 new jobs) and natural resources (3,900 new jobs).
Despite the gains, the province is still down 85,600 jobs compared to October 2019.
10:30 a.m. – Increasing evidence aerosol spread is a vector of transmission, Trudeau says
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the strain of surging COVID-19 case numbers should make us think of loved ones and relatives we all must protect.
Trudeau says he’s thinking of his godfather and uncle Tom Walker, who has been in and out of hospital and had to be readmitted last night.
He says “this situation is serious” and now is not the time to let our guard down.
He notes increasing evidence that aerosol spread is a vector of transmission and that winter weather will soon force many Canadians indoors into less well-ventilated areas.
He says we must do everything we can now to reduce outbreaks.
The Canadian Press
8:50 a.m. – 254 new COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities
The federal Indigenous Services Department says there were 254 new cases of COVID-19 in Indigenous communities in the last week of October.
At last count, there were 542 active cases on First Nations.
The department says the increase is mostly attributable to large gatherings in both public and private places, where participants didn’t wear masks or stay a safe distance apart.
One large group event in Saskatchewan led to 11 separate outbreaks in the province.
The government says it’s working particularly closely with First Nations and the provincial government in Manitoba to try to get outbreaks there under control.
The founder of a Metro Vancouver indoor cycling business has slammed provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for labelling his enterprise “dangerous,” while not issuing an order that it close.
Dominik Desbois, founder of Spin Society (with studios in Downtown Vancouver, Mount Pleasant and North Vancouver), said Henry’s comments on Thursday were “both reckless and damaging to small businesses such as ours.”
Henry, who reported a daily record of 425 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Thursday, said that although she hasn’t ordered spin classes to close, she considers them to be “dangerous.”
Henry said there were no COVID-19-related deaths reported between noon Wednesday and noon Thursday, and there were 3,389 active cases of the disease — of which 97 were being treated in hospital, including 24 in intensive care.
She said Thursday’s reported cases were based on 11,020 tests — making a test-positive rate of 3.8 per cent, which is an increase over recent weeks. Fraser Health continues to account for the bulk of cases at over 60 per cent.
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.
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