Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 10, 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. 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 the latest figures given on Nov. 10:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 19,239 (5,133 active)
• New cases since Nov. 9: 525
• Hospitalized cases: 142
• Intensive care: 46
• COVID-19 related deaths: 284 (3 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 9,781
• Recovered: 13,704
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 33
LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.
7:00 p.m. — Third exposure at Whistler restaurant
A third Whistler restaurant — The Longhorn Saloon — was added to the exposures list late on Tuesday.
The provincial government has formally extended its state of emergency declaration.
The state of emergency is now active through the end of day on Nov. 24, and gives government staff the powers needed to take necessary actions in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’re all in it together,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement issued Tuesday evening.
“It’s time to focus on the actions that helped keep us safe this spring: diligent hand washing, physical distancing, wearing a mask and staying home when you’re sick.
“We all have a role to play in supporting our health-care workers, the health-care system and essential workers, and we must do all we can to keep our loved ones safe, schools open and the economy moving.”
The original state of emergency was declared March 18, 2020 and has been extended multiple times.
Between Aug. 21 and Nov. 9, a total of 47 violation tickets were also issued to individuals or businesses who have contravened provincial health orders. Those include 19 tickets of $2,300 each to hosts and organizers who have held parties against Henry’s orders, two tickets of $2,300 each for restaurants that have violated COVID-19 orders relating to food and liquor service, and 26 tickets of $230 each to individuals who refused to listen to police when events or parties were broken up.
Another 58 violation tickets – collectively totalling $64,000 – have also been issued to individuals who contravened federal quarantine orders.
Health officials announced Tuesday that another 525 new cases of COVID-19 and three additional deaths had been reported, for a total of 19,239 cases and 184 deaths reported in B.C. since the start of the pandemic.
Currently, there are 5,133 active cases of the coronavirus. A total of 142 are in hospital – of which 46 are in intensive care – and the rest remain in self-isolation at home.
Still another 9,781 are under public health monitoring as a result of exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.
Two additional outbreaks were declared at Holyrood Manor and Burnaby Hospital. In total, there are 33 facilities impacted by outbreaks.
“We need to break the chains of transmission and slow the surge of COVID-19 cases – especially in the regions and locations of highest spread,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in a statement.
“The regional health authority restrictions are a short-term pause on non-essential activities to ensure we can maintain capacity within our health-care system and continue important essential activities.
“We need to slow down and take a step back to allow us to safely move forward in the weeks ahead.”
Fraser Health has declared two new COVID-19 outbreaks, one at a seniors home and the other at Burnaby Hospital.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, officials said a staff member at Holyrood Manor had tested positive for COVID-19 and is now at home in isolation.
An outbreak was also declared at Burnaby Hospital after five patients in a medicine unit tested positive for the coronavirus.
Health officials are warning of a possible COVID-19 exposure at an Abbotsford Sikh temple.
Anyone who was at the Gurdwara Baba Banda Singh Bahadar Sikh Society, located at 31631 South Fraser Way, between 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Oct. 26 to 31 or from Nov. 3 to 6 is asked to self-monitor for symptoms.
The exposure notice was announced on Tuesday and added to the Fraser Health authority’s exposure list the same day.
2 p.m. – Yukon health officials caution against travel to B.C.
Yukon’s chief medical health officer is cautioning against travel to B.C. as COVID-19 cases in the province spike.
Dr. Brendan Hanley says while Yukon’s boundary with B.C. remains open, officials are keeping a close eye on crossings.
“If you are planning to attend a gathering, a wedding or a funeral in B.C., I ask that you rethink your visit,” Hanley said at a news conference Tuesday.
“Ask yourself if the gathering will be still able to go forward with the new restrictions. Are you able to attend virtually, or will the gathering be rescheduled?”
-The Canadian Press
Anti-microbial copper surfaces are being installed on two SkyTrains and two trolley buses in a new TransLink pilot project that explores whether virus-killing materials could be effective in ensuring a safer transit system in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pilot project is being implemented in partnership with the Vancouver-based Teck Resources and Vancouver Coastal Health and will launch on Sunday.
The copper surfaces will be installed at high-touch points on board the two SkyTrains and two buses. During the four-week pilot, the copper surfaces will be swabbed twice a week and at the end of a month, the surfaces will be assessed for durability.
“Once the study and the pilot concludes, we’ll be sharing our findings and the results of this industry-leading initiative widely,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.
Health officials are warning about potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus at two restaurants in Whistler.
Vancouver Coastal Health says anyone who visited Earls Kitchen + Bar on Blackcomb Way from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6 should self monitor for symptoms.
The health authority is also warning about potential exposure on Oct. 31 at Buffalo Bill’s Bar & Grill on Village Green in Whistler.
It’s believed those who visited these restaurants are at a low risk of catching the virus, but they are asked to monitor for symptoms.
10 a.m. – Manitoba goes into lockdown
The Manitoba government is forcing non-essential stores to close and banning social gatherings in an effort to stop a surge of COVID-19 cases.
Starting Thursday, non-essential retail outlets will be limited to curbside pickup and delivery, and churches will not have in-person gatherings.
Social gatherings with anyone other than household members will be forbidden, and restaurants, museums, theatres and recreational activities must close.
Schools will remain open as the province’s chief public health officer says officials are not seeing much transmission within schools.
Premier Brian Pallister says the province is at a critical point in its fight against the virus.
Manitoba leads all other provinces in per-capita active cases.
-The Canadian Press
WorkSafeBC says it will step up inspections of businesses in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal health regions, as B.C.’s number of COVID-19 cases surge.
The focus of the inspections is to ensure employers are following measures to stop the transmission, said Al Johnson, head of prevention services for WorkSafeBC, in a statement Tuesday.
“We are urging employers to stay vigilant, including revisiting their existing COVID-19 Safety Plan and updating it as conditions change.”
Workplaces identified as having the highest risk for COVID-19 transmission are being prioritized for inspections, including those where it is difficult to maintain physical distance.
The agency will also step up inspections at places where workers interact with large numbers of people, such as restaurants, and where staff come into frequent contact with shared surfaces, tools and equipment.
WorkSafeBC says it will also step up consultations with employers about COVID-19.
“Workplace health and safety are essential in protecting workers and keeping businesses open,” said Johnson. “Employers need to ensure their COVID-19 plan is effective, that it’s followed to the letter, and that it’s applied to all aspects of the workplace.”
The inspections and consultations follow new orders issued Saturday from the provincial government aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions.
6 a.m. – Poll suggests more than two-thirds of Canadians support curfew
More than two-thirds of Canadians say they would support a curfew if the COVID-19 pandemic became serious enough, according to a new poll.
The survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 67 per cent of Canadians would back a temporary nighttime curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. to curb viral spread in dire circumstances.
However, respondents’ enthusiasm varied by age, with young people less disposed to the notion.
Fifty-five per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they would support a curfew, while three-quarters of those aged 55 and over endorsed it, including 80 per cent of those over 65.
Two out of three respondents between the ages of 35 and 54 also took to the idea.
The prospect of a curfew has been floated in several provinces, with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister saying last week he was mulling it.
Pallister backed away from the possibility Monday after he asked Manitobans to weigh in via an online government survey.
Canadians in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec were less inclined support a curfew, with fewer than two-thirds of residents there giving the thumbs-up, the survey found.
Well over 70 per cent of respondents in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces said they would back a curfew.
Nevertheless, majorities in all age groups, and in every part of the country, backed the idea if the COVID-19 pandemic were severe and public health officials recommended it.
-The Canadian Press
5 a.m. – BCIT launches a shop local campaign to help businesses affected by COVID-19
The website features more than 20 local BCIT alumni-owned online stores, from ethical dog supplies and minimalist planter pots sourced from Vancouver, to wellness products and modern home décor.
The market is live until Dec. 31.
12 a.m. – Huge distribution problems in B.C. for promising deep-freeze vaccine
A new vaccine, with a Vancouver connection, could be available in B.C. in the first quarter of 2021, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday.
However, the province will have to overcome a significant supply-chain challenge to get it distributed — as it must be kept at minus-70 C or lose its effectiveness.
“That is one of the lights at the end of the tunnel,” said Henry, referring to the RNA vaccine — developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE — that is now shown in large-scale trials to protect more than 90 per cent of people from COVID-19.
“I think it’s fantastic. The preliminary analysis that they’ve done on a subset of (volunteers) shows that there’s good effect from the vaccine. So that’s great news. And that means that we’re on track for potentially having this vaccine available, both around the world, but here in Canada and in B.C., in the first quarter of 2021.”
Henry warned, though, that distributing the vaccine — developed using biotechnology from Vancouver company Acuitas Therapeutics — would be challenging because there were not a lot of ultralow temperature freezers in B.C. or freezer trucks that could handle the vaccine.
On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, announced 998 new coronavirus cases in B.C. over two days, along with five new deaths.
The updated numbers bring total confirmed cases in B.C. to 18,714 and the deaths to 281.
There are 4,891 active cases with 133 people in hospital, including 43 in ICU.
There are 9,179 people in self isolation after being potentially exposed to the disease. Of the new cases, 536 were reported between noon Saturday and noon Sunday and 462 between noon Sunday and noon Monday.
The majority of cases continues to be in the Fraser Health region (that covers 1.8 million people).
Henry said there were 37 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities, including two reported between noon Saturday and noon Monday. Of those outbreaks, 32 are in long-term care facilities. So far, 535 staff members at long-term care facilities have caught the disease. The COVID-19 death toll in B.C. is 281.
B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS
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