COVID-19 update for March 3: Here’s the latest on coronavirus in B.C.

Linda Rider

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 March 3, 2022.

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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

Here are the latest figures given on March 3:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 349,604
• New cases: 391
• Total deaths: 2,896 (13 reported in past 24 hours)
• Hospitalized cases: 511
• Intensive care: 79
• Total vaccinations: 4,517,958 received first dose (90.6% of eligible pop. 5+); 4,303,614 second doses (86.3%); 2,590,923 third doses (55.9% of those 12+)
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 21

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

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

• 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.

Another 13 deaths reported Thursday

B.C. health officials reported 13 more deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total death toll in the province to 2,896 since the start of the pandemic.

Another 391 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus were also reported, though that number reflects selective PCR testing that prioritizes those who are vulnerable or experiencing severe symptoms.

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More than 90 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 86 per cent have had two doses.

Those numbers have seen only marginal gains in recent weeks as the vaccination campaign focuses on booster doses. Third shots have now been administered to 55.9 per cent of those who are eligible (age 12 and over).

One new outbreak in care has been declared, at Parkwood Court in Island Health, while another at Rest Haven Lodge, also in Island Health, is over. That leaves 21 health-care facilities still managing an outbreak across the province.

— Joseph Ruttle

Fraser Health Authority closing down some large vaccine clinics

Fraser Health officials are scaling back the large COVID-19 vaccine clinics and will shift the focus to child immunizations.

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The health authority said more than 90 per cent of eligible people 12 years and older in the region have received at least two doses of vaccine, so they are ramping down to meet demand.

Sarah Siebert, director of clinical operations for Fraser Health’s Pandemic Response COVID-19 Testing and Immunization Centres, said they are consolidating resources in each community. So for example, the Cloverdale Recreation Centre the Poirier Forum testing sites have closed and the one at the Anvil Community Centre in New Westminster will close in the coming weeks.

The South Surrey Recreation Centre testing site closed last month to vaccines but will reopen on March 17 for kids’ vaccinations. The last day for the vaccines at Kwantlen Polytechnic University will be March 18, while the Langley Event Centre will continue offering vaccines for now.

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—Tiffany Crawford

Ontario likely to end mask mandate by end of month

Ontario is poised to remove masking mandates by the end of March if current positive COVID-19 trends continue, chief medical health officer Dr. Kieran Moore says.

In what’s expected to be his second-last regular weekly COVID-19 update, the province’s top public health doctor said he’ll make recommendations shortly on an appropriate time to lift compulsory face-covering requirement for schools and the general public.

“But I ask all Ontarians, if you’re vulnerable to this virus, if you haven’t received your full dose of vaccine — first, second, third or fourth dose — that you remain prudent, that we remain kind and considerate to those that decide to wear masks,” Moore said Thursday. “I do believe they are protective, they do decrease your personal risk, but … we can only mandate masking for so long.”

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Read the full story here.

— Toronto Sun 

CBSA resumes airport service as federal travel restrictions ease

The Canadian Border Services Agency is resuming regular service at two B.C. airports after federal travel guidelines eased earlier this week.

The CBSA will now operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, at Penticton and Pringe George airports, after earlier suspending service due to COVID-19 in March 2020.

Following the federal government’s travel restriction update on Feb. 28, international flights are now also permitted to land at three B.C. airports, where they had previously been halted due to the pandemic.

Those airports include Kamloops and Nanaimo airports, as well as the Vancouver International Airport’s small aircraft station. The CBSA will resume regular clearance services at these three points of entry.

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– Stephanie Ip

10 deaths reported Tuesday, outbreaks in care drop despite five new ones

B.C. reported 10 more deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday after a rare report a day earlier with none.

That raises the death toll to 2,883 since the start of the pandemic.

Some 442 new cases of the viral disease were confirmed in the past 24 hours, though that number only reflects testing of those who are symptomatic or clinically vulnerable.

Those who suspect they have COVID-19 but are experiencing only mild symptoms and have no other risk factors are advised to isolate but not to get a test.

Five new outbreaks have been reported in long-term and acute care, including Mission Memorial Hospital in Fraser Health, Gillis House in Interior Health, and Berwick House Gordon Head, The Heights at Mt. View and Greenwoods, all in Island Health.

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However, the B.C. Health Ministry said 11 other outbreaks across the province were declared over, dropping the number that are active to 21.

— Joseph Ruttle

Interior Health moving to pharmacy and clinic-based vaccination

With vaccination rates reaching new heights, Interior Health is winding down its mass immunization clinics and moving the campaign to pharmacies and IH-operated health centres.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments in the coming weeks will gradually move out of the large clinics into the pharmacies and health centres in Interior Health.

Anyone who hasn’t received a vaccine, booster or pediatric vaccine (for children age five to 11) can continue to book appointments as before. Pediatric vaccines will be administered in IH clinics while those 12 and older can go to a pharmacy in their community. More than 90 pharmacies are part of the program in the health region

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Regular and pop-up clinics will continue in some rural and remote communities where access to pharmacies is limited.

—Joseph Ruttle

Nerve damage may explain some cases of long COVID: U.S. study

A small study of patients suffering from persistent symptoms long after a bout of COVID-19 found that nearly 60% had nerve damage possibly caused by a defective immune response, a finding that could point to new treatments, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

The study involved in depth exams of 17 people with so-called long COVID, a condition that arises within three months of a COVID-19 infection and lasts at least two months.

— Reuters



DEATHS BY HEALTH AUTHORITY


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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