Sunday, March 29, 2020

Foundation being set for months to come for North Coast COVID-19 response

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain relayed the thanks of the local medical profession on Sunday, noting in a social media post that the preparations for a local COVID-19 response have made major strides in recent days.

Posted to his Facebook page Sunday afternoon, the Mayor shared some thoughts from Prince Rupert's Dr. Gillaume Coetzee:

"Dr. Coetzee called today to inform me that they have made MAJOR strides in the last few days in their preparations at the Prince Rupert hospital. He wanted to thank the community for their efforts because it is giving the team up there the valuable time they need to set the proper foundations for the months to come. It is absolutely incredible how much can get done in just a short amount of time."

In his social media message, the Mayor also praised the work of Dr. Jaco Fourie at Northern Health, the Terrace based Medical Director for the Northwest.

Additionally, Mr. Brain made note of the ongoing communication among communities in the region and put some focus on the recent back and forth between the Province and the City, shaping  the current situation  from his view as one that Prince Rupert has delivered its message loud and clear.

"We all want to do what is right for our communities. We may have different perspectives on how to accomplish that as a region, however I believe the message has been delivered and fully received by the Province."

The Mayor also noted that the Province has additional plans for the region.

Themes which Health Minister Adrian Dix and Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had addressed on Friday as part of a full overview of the modelling of the COVID-19 situation to date.

As well the pair who are on point for the Provincial response have hosted previous daily updates where they have made note of the range of resources currently available and their plans for the future.

The Mayor's full review can be found here.

Missing from Mr. Brain's update for the day however, was an important reminder of the over riding message of these times ... that of the vital importance of Physical distancing and to abide by all of the Public Health Officer's orders.

You can review Dr. Henry's growing list of Orders here.

More items of note on local announcements of the last week can be explored here, while Provincial updates can be reviewed here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

MLA's letter to constituents highlight's province's message; garners familiar attention

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice published a letter to constituents this weekend, providing for some further notes to the events of the last few days in the region.

The composition outlined the background to the Provincial decision to suspend the Local Statements of Emergency and to make note of the provisions of the Provincial Emergency Order and the elements in place as part of the Province's COVID-19 response.

Among some of Ms. Rice's themes:

"It’s not a time for politics or posturing. It’s a time to give the professionals what they need to do their jobs. 

When facing a fire, you call firefighters. And when facing a pandemic, you call people like Dr. Bonnie Henry and the health officials fighting COVID-19. 

Dr. Henry has unparalleled experience fighting infectious diseases, including Ebola and SARS. She guides every decision taken by the Province, including the orders issued on Thursday. 

These orders are designed to ensure that every community is coordinating together under one plan. They ensure the province can be more responsive to the unique needs of communities like ours."

The letter available here, posted to Facebook, was received and responded to by many of the  familiar names of followers of the Mayor's social media streams; correspondences that replayed many of the same responses of disappointment, kind of a Prince Rupert bot army if you will.

Among the contributions at one point was one from Prince Rupert City Councillor Wade Niesh, who has apparently appointed himself as the key member of the Mayor's Praetorian Guard, ready to respond to any statement contrary to the city's position.

Though it appears that his response to the MLA's letter has unfortunately since been removed from the MLA's feed.

A decision which in itself shows in a way how unreliable Facebook may be when it comes to being a valuable source of full information on any topic, let alone one involving a pandemic. ...

Prior to the purging of his commentary, Mr. Niesh had raised a number of themes related to his areas of concern related to Provincial/Municipal relations, a reinforcement of familiar comments from the past that he no doubt will share if you drop him a line ...

It makes for a topic that should probably be explored further in a public forum at some point ... but not today and not in the immediate future.

The political back and forth and very, very different view on governance a theme for a different day, and during a much less critical period in time

At this point in time, the only information that anyone should be paying attention to are the orders and guidance of the Public Health Officer for the Province of British Columbia.

For the moment, if City council members can shift their eyes and fingers away from their Facebook posting for a bit, they might want to give some indication as to the constructive steps that they can take towards the future.

Offering some guidance on some of the tangible preparation in the community, within their scope of duties, that they can direct towards where need is greatest and to which they can effect assistance.

Maybe by helping the Food Bank to replenish dwindling stocks, like some other communities are doing; or to outline which civic resources they will provide for the province towards the wider pandemic response plan, including some emergency housing for the homeless.

As well, in this new era of Social Distancing ... an idea might be for the Council members to vow to put some distance between themselves and Social Media for a while ... and just release only vital information  through the city's website, sharing the important news with everyone in the city that will need to hear the message.

More items of note on local announcements of the last week can be explored here, while Provincial updates can be reviewed here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

Saturday COVID-19 Update marks BC at 884 cases, with 17 deaths to date in the province


92 new cases of COVID-19 were announced as part of the Saturday update from Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix; their Saturday announcement noting that the Province now has recored a total of 884 cases to date.

The Breakdown province wide shows that 444 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 291 are in the Fraser Health region, 60 are in the Island Health region, 77 are in the Interior Health region, with 12 still the count to date in the Northern Heath region.

"We are saddened to report another COVID-19 related death in the Vancouver Coastal region, resulting in a total of 17 COVID-19 related deaths in British Columbia.

One new long-term care home in the Fraser Health region has a resident who has tested positive for COVID-19. There are now COVID-19 cases in 12 facilities in B.C. All are in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions. Public health officials are providing support to implement outbreak protocols.

Three hundred and ninety-six people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer have isolation requirements.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 81 individuals are currently hospitalized, 52 of those in hospital are in intensive care, and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation."

Both Dr. Henry and Mr. Dix made note of the current number of Public Health Orders in place and how they are serving to assist the provincial effort in controlling the spread of the virus.

“We have seen countless examples of community goodwill: supporting those in self-isolation, shopping for neighbours and connecting with care and compassion. 

We have taken a step in the right direction, but we know that in the coming weeks, the number of cases is going to continue to rise and our health system will be put to test. 


As a province, all of us must do everything we can to avoid the devastating impacts that we have seen in other parts of the world. 


We must be united and 100% committed to doing all we can to flatten the curve. Thank you for helping to make a difference and now, more than ever, we need you to keep it up.”


Yesterday they both provided for an extensive  presentation that provided a look at some of the scenario modelling that has taken place to review the path of COVID-19 and how the physical distancing measures in place are having an impact in helping to bend the curve.


Some of the background to the Saturday briefing can be found here.



The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Air Canada suspends service to PrinceRupert, leaving only commercial aviation link to the Northwest now through Terrace

Passenger service to the Prince Rupert Airport has now been suspended


Air Canada has suspended flight operations in much of the Northwest one week earlier than planned, having suspended service to Prince Rupert, Smithers and Haida Gwaii on Thursday, leaving the only air access point to the region now that of the Terrace Airport.



The pause in service for Prince Rupert and Smithers  made for three of a string of suspensions announced for March 26th, the Haida Gwaii service had been suspended three days prior to that.

The final flight out of the Prince Rupert Airport departed at 5:56 PM on Wednesday evening, arriving in Vancouver at 7:27 PM.

The Flight Aware website tracked Jazz flight 8281
which on Wednesday night  made its
final trip to Vancouver until May at least


Air Canada announced it's original timeline for Prince Rupert back on March 18th, the anticipated date to restart flights to the Digby Island Airport is set for the start of May.

More notes on Air Transportation in the Northwest can be found from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, March 27, 2020




Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene for  Thursday, March 27, 2020


Coronavirus response in BC


BC should have enough beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients: officials
Controversial malaria drug hydroxychloroquine tested at BC Seniors home
BC confirms 2 new deaths, 67 new cases
BC 'cautiously optimistic' about COVID-19 forecast, but warns hospitals could still be overwhelmed
Vancouver offers emergency childcare referrals to essential COVID-19 workers
Indigenous Minister says communities should postpone elections
BC's Dr. Bonnie Henry says social distancing measures appear to be making an impact
BC restricts open burning to reduce  air-pollution impact on citizen's immune systems
Calls to crisis line of Vancouver's Battered Women's support services rise over 100 percent
Health workers advised to contact school principals to discuss their kids' care
COVID-19 will stretch, but not break, BC's Health System
Tiny virus, Big Picture
How the COVID-19 crisis is hurting Sex Workers
'Safe supply of drugs good news in Vancouver, but is it only here for the pandemic?
Vancouver coffee shop has business licence suspended for COVID-19 order violations
Only food can be sold at farmers' markets: Provincial Health Officer
BC reports 2 more deaths, 67 new cases of COVID-19 for total of 792
BC government suspends legal action limitations
Funerals delayed, grief delayed during COVID-19
Major move departs from escalation approach
As spring break ends, still unclear what the plan is for students
BC Premier John Horgan appeals to banks for help during coronavirus crisis
Could a borderless pandemic drive a surge in 'Canada-first' isolationism?
How deadly is COVID-19? Why it's different in every country
More detailed breakdown of COVID-19 testing needed in northern BC, says region's former health officer
2 staff members test positive for COVID-19 at care homes in Langley and Surrey
More than 13,000 Vancouver airport workers to be laid off due to COVID-19
BC launches at home education resource website
BC records 2 more COVID-19 deaths and 67 new cases, bringing total to 792
Physical distancing has halved rate of spread of COVID-19 in BC 
BC farmers markets launching online store during COVID-19 pandemic
Vancouver suspends downtown Tim Horton's licence for violating BC's COVID-19 order
BC releases plan to provide safe supply of drugs during COVID-19 pandemic
'This virus is an assassin': Son of COVID-19 victim at BC care home shocked by diseases's speed
BC economy could face biggest drop in 70 years if pandemic shutdowns linger: report
67 new cases in BC and two more deaths
Some optimism, caution and worst possible scenario plans for COVID-19
Infection spread appears to be slowing in BC, figures suggest
Vancouver Tim Horton's has business licence suspended
Two positive tests at BC Ski resorts
Student lessons in BC might take a week or more to organize
South Island doctors plead with public to stay home
57 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Island Health, BC death toll rises to 16
Victoria police warns of text, vacation rental COVID-19 fraud attempts
Development and building applications in Victoria can now be submitted online
Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19
BC Parks Foundation organizes virtual picnic for the province
67 more BC COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region
BC farmers markets restricted to food sales only due to COVID-19
BC COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says



Globe and Mail 

Canada's independent booksellers try to weather the coronavirus storm
How will cities come back, and will neighbours keep saying 'not in my backyard'?


CBC

Businesses welcome feds' help but say BC economy will still take a big hit
Supreme Court dismisses appeal in controversial dangerous driving case that sparked debate about law
Private girls school denies allegations it failed to respond to student bullying


Vancouver Sun



Vancouver Province

--


Victoria Times Colonist


Victoria News




Global BC

--

Georgia Straight




Vancouver Courier



The Tyee

--


Miscellaneous



Ottawa Observations: Friday, March 27, 2020



Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for   Friday, March 27, 2020 


Canadians held in China / China tensions

COVID-19 reminds us why China can't be trusted: Country must rethink ties with China


The Global Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Ottawa working on plans to serve those who need Service Canada help but can't apply online themselves
Four passengers dead on cruise ship anchored off Panama, with 248 Canadians on board
While thousands of Canadians rush home from overseas, some are sticking out the coronavirus panic overseas
How a funeral home in Newfoundland became the source of a major coronavirus outbreak
We must use every scrap to equip front line workers in the coronavirus battle
Hospitals postpone surgeries, treatments to make space for potential surge in coronavirus patients
For China and Russia, coronavirus hoaxes are another strain of disinformation warfare
Police and military abuses reported in Africa's pandemic lockdowns
Violence erupts in China as people try to leave coronavirus-stricken Hubei province
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several key officials test positive for coronavirus
BC should have enough beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients: officials
Defence chief puts Canadian military on COVID-19 war footing
Italy tops 9,000 coronavirus deaths, overtakes China in cases
The next four steps Canada must take to beat the virus
What's helping Germans through this pandemic? A shared boat
Rush to support small business a sign Ottawa finally sees scale of the problem
Ottawa recommends First Nations do not proceed with elections during coronavirus crisis
Senate leader calls for more ambitious action amid coronavirus pandemic, including buying stakes in companies
Economic fallout of COVID-19 could lead to federal deficit of more than $112,7 billion, PBO says
Government boosts wage subsidy to 75% for small, medium businesses to avoid layoffs during COVID-19 crisis
'Stand strong': Charities brace for lean season as pandemic cuts into donations, volunteer base
Canada 'urgently' discussing asylum seeker deportation issue with U.S.
How flaws in the way Ontario's nursing homes are run put residents and staff at risk of COVID-19
Province scrambles to ready beds as COVID-19 wave set to hit
Three Toronto renters affected by COVID-19 'surprised' to get relief from landlord
Health-care providers concerned about end-of-life care amid COVID-19
Confirmed COVID-19 cases jump in Toronto as March break travellers return
Some countries are spying on their citizens in the fight against COVID-19. Ottawa rejects the idea - at least for now
Start a coronavirus diary. Keep your receipts
Justin Trudeau says there is no limit to what will be spent as Ottawa blasts out billions to fight COVID-19
Toronto sees biggest jump yet in new COVID-19 cases
Pandemic adds urgency to free career criminal from immigration detention
Inmates no longer appearing in provincial courts amid COVID-19 crisis
Wash your hands keep your distance, but don't forget to smile
Resilient residents will overcome COVID-19 challenges
Under cover of the pandemic, scammers go to work
The light at the end of the tunnel
'We gotta go': Inside the global race to find a COVID-19 vaccine
Beer delivery, 'contactless' fried chicken and other emergency coronavirus measures worth keeping
Canadian man dies from COVID-19 in Brazil hospital after being taken off cruise ship
Four passengers dead as COVID-19 spreads through cruise ship stranded at sea
How and Edmonton curling tournament became a hotspot for the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada
Ottawa has been too slow in dealing with the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis
Don't blame the COVIDIOTS, blame the messengers: Why some people don't take the pandemic warnings seriously
The world succumbed to a pandemic of hysteria, more than a virus
Feds to cover up to 75 per cent of wages for small businesses hit by COVID-19
The financial impact of COVID-19 is enough to make Canadians sick with worry
No, Mardi Gras wan't cancelled. Yes, the US now has the most cases in world
What does the COVID-19 endgame look like? Five simple steps
More Canadians have now died of coronavirus than SARS
Controversial malaria drug hydroxychloroquine tested at BC Seniors home
BC confirms 2 new deaths, 67 new cases
BC 'cautiously optimistic' about COVID-19 forecast, but warns hospitals could still be overwhelmed
Trump tells Pence to not call states critical of federal COVID-19 response
Brazil leader wants to end social distancing even as cases soar past 3,400
Vancouver offers emergency childcare referrals to essential COVID-19 workers
Indigenous Minister says communities should postpone elections
Quebec records 10 more coronavirus deaths, urges travellers to avoid Montreal, Eastern Townships
BC's Dr. Bonnie Henry says social distancing measures appear to be making an impact
BC restricts open burning to reduce  air-pollution impact on citizen's immune systems
Calls to crisis line of Vancouver's Battered Women's support services rise over 100 percent
Health workers advised to contact school principals to discuss their kids' care
COVID-19 will stretch, but not break, BC's Health System
Is it time to invoke the Federal Emergencies Act?
Tiny virus, Big Picture
How the COVID-19 crisis is hurting Sex Workers
'Safe supply of drugs good news in Vancouver, but is it only here for the pandemic?
Vancouver coffee shop has business licence suspended for COVID-19 order violations
Only food can be sold at farmers' markets: Provincial Health Officer
BC reports 2 more deaths, 67 new cases of COVID-19 for total of 792
BC government suspends legal action limitations
Funerals delayed, grief delayed during COVID-19
Major move departs from escalation approach
As spring break ends, still unclear what the plan is for students




Globe and Mail

The road ahead: After the lockdown, the question confronting the government will be how to rebuild the economy
Ottawa boosts wage subsidy after cries for relief
Bank of Canada cuts key interest rate another half percentage point to 0.25 per cent
There is no perfect economic response for Canada's coronavirus shutdown
Visa, Mastercards's plan to freeze swipe fees may deal another blow to Canadian merchants
Jason Kenney floats North American energy strategy to save crude
Canada in talks with US about possible deportation of asylum seekers
Staffing issues and logistics made June 27 Conservative leadership vote impossible: official
How the pandemic could start inflaming wars around the world
Trudeau rates higher than Trump but lower than other world leaders in COVID-19 polling
How invoking the Emergencies Act could help Canada better track, contain COVID-19


CBC

Bank of Canada makes another emergency cut to interest rate
Economy could contract by 25% in second quarter, deficit could soar to $112.7B: PBO report
Conservative leadership committee suspends race amid COVID-19 crisis


Toronto Star

Decision to delay leadership race leaves 'sour taste' among Conservatives
Doug Ford made our health-care problems worse. But he didn't create them
Justin Trudeau will deal with the economy later. For now, he just wants to make sure you have a paycheque
Will COVID-19 tempt Canadians to turn their backs on the world?
Peter MacKay is self-destructing in the face of COVID-19. Is he really who the Conservatives want to lead them?
Canadian unemployment could reach 15 per cent by third quarter, Parliamentary Budget Officer says


Toronto Sun

Economic models look dire
Trudeau battling to quell economic fears caused by COVID-19


National Post

Budget watchdog urges Ottawa to trim spending after COVID-19 retreats, as deficit swells beyond $112B
Release of death squad boss "El Mono' from US prison has Canadian victims seeking truth
Liberals to run $113B deficit in 2021 with economy poised for stomach-churning plunge: PBO
Ontario to buy one million testing kits from leading tech firm amid backlog worries



Maclean's

A reminder from Hell that saving lives will save the economy

Global

Conservative leadership candidates asked to stop fundraising after race suspended
Trudeau refuses to say if planned carbon tax increase still a go amid coronavirus
'No Canadian': Twitter mocks Trump's plan to move troops to US-Canada border
Canadian unemployment could hit 145 per cent amid coronavirus pandemic, deficit to $113B
Gloomy economic scenario drives S&P/TSX Composite Index down another five percent


Miscellaneous

Half of YVR workforce expected to be laid off




British Columbia's Friday COVID-19 Update puts total case count at 792

Health Minister Adrian Dix and Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry shared the details today of an increase of 67 new cases in British Columbia for today, bringing the provincial total count to 792.

The case files for all five of the province's health authorities saw 391 in the Vancouver Health region, 262 with the Fraser Health Region, 57 with Island Health, 70 at Interior Health and an increase of 1 in the Northern Health region making for a total of 12.

Two more British Columbians have passed away from COVID-19 and long-term care facilities continue to be the focus for the provincial response.

“We are saddened to report two more deaths as a result of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal health region. Our condolences to their loved ones during this difficult time.

Two additional long-term care homes in the Fraser Health region have staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19, The Harrison at Elim Village and Chartwell Independent Living at Langley Gardens.

In total, 11 long-term care homes in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Public health officials are providing support to implement outbreak protocols."

From the background review, it was noted that 275 patients have recovered and no longer require isolation protocols, 73 cases are currently hospitalized and the remainder of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self isolation.

Having provided for a briefing earlier on the day of modelling scenarios for the next few weeks/months, both Minster Dix and Doctor Henry again reinforced the need to stay with the measures in place already.

“In the past few days, our upward path has been less severe than other places, but we continue to see steady increases in community transmission cases and continue to be concerned about outbreaks, which could quickly grow and challenge our pandemic response.

The evidence is clear: with every person in British Columbia 100% committed to physical distancing, we can flatten the curve. Over the next two weeks we must be united in this one goal.

We strongly discourage any in-person gathering of any size at this time, but rather encourage using the many online options we have available today to stay connected to friends, family, customers and clients."

As well, Doctor Henry issued a new Health Order as part of the COVID-19 response, directed towards such areas community markets and street markets.

“All occasional/recurring/weekly events where food and other merchandise is sold (e.g., markets, street markets, night markets, Saturday markets or community markets) must only allow vendors that sell food to be at these events. Vendors of non-food items and all other merchandise are prohibited to sell at these events."

The list of Doctor Henry's Orders can be examined here.

Some of the background to the briefing can be reviewed here.



The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.