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COVID-19 update for Dec. 11-12: Here’s the latest on coronavirus in BC


Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Dec. 11-12, 2021.

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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 Dec. 10:

• Total number of confirmed cases:  222,013 (2,994 active)
• New cases since Dec. 8: 437
• Total deaths: 2,381 (three additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 211
• Intensive care: 72
• Total vaccinations: 4,288,204 received first dose; 4,097,320 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 216,542
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 5

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IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

U.K. prime minister warns of Omicron ‘tidal wave’, says two doses not enough

Britain faces a “tidal wave” of the Omicron variant of coronavirus and two vaccine doses will not be enough to contain it, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, as he accelerated the booster rollout program.

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Speaking hours after government scientists lifted the COVID alert level to 4 on a 5-point scale, Johnson said the booster program must go faster because scientists did not yet know if Omicron was less severe than other variants.

“A tidal wave of Omicron is coming,” Johnson said in televised statement on Sunday evening. “And I’m afraid it is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need.”

He added that scientists knew Omicron was much more transmissible and that a wave of the variant through a population that was not boosted would result in so many hospitalisations the National Health Service would struggle to cope.

“Everyone eligible aged 18 and over in England will have the chance to get their booster before the New Year,” he said.

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— Reuters

U.S. COVID-19 deaths reach 800,000 as Delta ravaged in 2021

The United States on Sunday reached 800,000 coronavirus-related deaths, as the nation braces for a potential surge in infections due to more time spent indoors with colder weather and the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.

The milestone means the U.S. death toll from this one virus now exceeds the entire population of North Dakota.

Even with vaccines widely and freely available, the country has lost more lives to the virus this year than in 2020 due to the more contagious Delta variant and people refusing to get inoculated against COVID-19.

Since the start of the year, over 450,000 people in the United States have died after contracting COVID-19, or 57% of all U.S. deaths from the illness since the pandemic started.

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The deaths this year were mostly in unvaccinated patients, health experts say. Deaths have increased despite advances in caring for COVID patients and new treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies.

It took 111 days for U.S. deaths to jump from 600,000 to 700,000, according to Reuters analysis. The next 100,000 deaths took just 73 days.

— Reuters

Dr. Fauci says three shots of COVID-19 vaccine is ‘optimal care’

Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine is the “optimal care” but two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains the U.S. government’s official definition of fully vaccinated, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Sunday.

Health officials will continue to evaluate what should constitute the official designation, Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

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“Well, I certainly think, George, it’s the optimal care,” Fauci said in response to being asked whether three vaccine doses could be the new standard of care.

“I mean, for official requirements, it’s still two shots of the mRNA (Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) and one shot of the J&J for the official determination of what’s required or not. But I think if you look at the data, the more and more it becomes clear that if you want to be optimally protected you really should get a booster,” he added.

It will take months to tell whether annual booster doses of the vaccine are needed, Fauci said, adding that he is hoping from an immunological standpoint that one booster dose will be enough to provide protection greater than just the six months offered by the initial vaccine.

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— Reuters

Daily case count, hospitalizations rising in Quebec

Quebec’s seven-day rolling average for new COVID-19 cases surpassed 1,600 for the first time since mid-April on Sunday as the province reported 1,753 infections.

While people who are not two weeks out from their first vaccine dose make up just 21.7 per cent of the province’s population, they accounted for half of the day’s new cases.

A total of 465,981 infections have now been confirmed in the province since the first one was reported in February of 2020.

Quebec also announced that one more fatalities had been attributed to the virus, bringing the province’s death toll to 11,608.

The number of hospitalizations due to the virus increased by 11 to 262 — the highest level since October. Of those patients, 68 are in intensive care — an increase of five.

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— Montreal Gazette

B.C. now has 10 cases of the Omicron variant

British Columbia health officials say 10 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have now been identified in the province.

The Health Ministry said in a news release Friday the variant of concern has been found in the Vancouver Coastal, Fraser and Island Health regions.

It says the province has 437 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths.

Of the 2,994 active cases of COVID-19, the ministry says 211 of the infected are in hospital and 72 in intensive care.

It says 86 per cent of those five and older have received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 82.2 per cent of them have had their second dose.

Officials say 13 per cent of those who are 12 and older have been given their booster shot.

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—The Canadian Press

COVID-19 resurgence forecast for Canada, worse if Omicron replaces Delta: Tam

Canada is forecast to see a resurgence of COVID-19 and it could speed up even more if the Omicron variant replaces Delta, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday.

New federal modelling shows that if it’s assumed Omicron is three times more transmissible than Delta and becomes the dominant strain, then the number of daily cases in Canada could explode from about 3,300 currently to 26,600 by mid-January.

If Delta remains dominant, then the number of cases by that date could be as low as 2,900, if transmission is reduced by 15%, or as high as 15,000, if transmission increases 15%. If transmission remains the same, Canada could see 7,000 daily cases.

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The modelling did not include projections for hospitalizations or deaths if Omicron becomes dominant. Tam said there is more to learn about the severity of the variant, but she urged caution during the coming holiday season.

“I’ve been saying the winter period is going to be a bumpy road towards a brighter spring. So this is another bump on the road and we still don’t know enough about the Omicron variant except it looks like it’s very transmissible,” she said at a news conference Friday.

—The Canadian Press

Waterloo Region investigating likely Omicron outbreaks linked to hockey tournaments

Two COVID-19 outbreaks linked to Ontario hockey tournaments were being investigated as likely Omicron variant clusters as the province reported more than 1,600 new infections on Saturday.

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Public health for the Region of Waterloo said it’s “very likely” that the 31 cases associated with two tournaments held elsewhere in the province are the result of the Omicron variant.

Hockey players and their contacts were being advised to isolate and get tested, as the region’s top doctor warned that all residents should reduce their social contact in light of the “heightened risk.”

“It is highly likely that the new Omicron variant is already here in Waterloo Region, and we expect that it will spread quickly,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said in a written statement.

Public health for the region said 11 COVID-19 cases were linked to a hockey tournament that was held in London, Ont., and another 20 cases were associated with a separate tournament in Markham, Ont.

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—The Canadian Press


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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