Here’s your daily BC COVID update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 19, 2020.
Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 19, 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.
As of the latest figures given on Oct. 19: • Total number of confirmed cases: 11,687 (1,639 active) • New cases since Oct. 16: 499 • Hospitalized cases: 67 • Intensive care: 19 • COVID-19 related deaths: 253 • Cases under public health monitoring: 4,028 • Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 19
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, says the province recorded 499 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and two additional deaths from the respiratory disease.
“We are in the second wave of the COVID-19 storm in B.C. but we have control of what that wave looks like,” said Henry. “There continues to be COVID-19 transmission in many parts of our province and we know that this is expected. This virus has not gone away.”
Henry said she is encourage that B.C. is not seeing exponential growth, but, rather continued and ongoing growth.
“We do have more people in the hospital than we did a few weeks ago, but that has also stabilized,” she said. “We need, however, to make sure that we are doing what we can to avoid a steep and sudden increase in new cases that we have seen in other parts of Canada, in our neighbouring countries and around the world.”
The bulk of the country’s case load has been concentrated in Ontario and Quebec, though numbers have been surging in much of the country in recent weeks as Canada deals with a second wave of the global pandemic.
A number of flights either departing from or arriving in B.C. have been added to a COVID-19 exposure list.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added a number of new flights to its exposure watchlist over the weekend including both domestic and international flights.
Loblaws Canada is reporting a possible COVID-19 exposure threat at a No Frills grocery store in Langley.
The company says a staff member at Michael’s No Frills, at 204th Street, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Loblaws says all safety precautions have been followed and the store has reopened following a deep clean.
As B.C.’s world-class ski resorts brace of a winter without international tourists due to closed borders, many are betting that locals eager to get onto the slopes will help make up for the lost revenues for the resorts.
Canada closed its borders since March to all but immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We are desperately trying to make that up with domestic booking,” said Michael Ballingall, senior vice president of Big White Ski Resort, located around 450 km (280 miles) east of Vancouver. The resort plans to roll out flight deals and discounts on long-term stays to attract Canadians.
Although international visitors represent just 21% of reservations, they contribute 32% of revenue, Ballingall said, underscoring how the different spending patterns of domestic visitors won’t necessarily bridge the budget gap – Canadians take fewer lessons, buy little or no equipment and eat out less frequently.
Meanwhile, Tourism Whistler declined to say how much accommodation bookings dropped this year, but said that in a normal year 60% of Whistler’s visitors were international.
8:15 a.m. – Companies have modest hiring plans, low wage growth expectations, Bank of Canada says
The Bank of Canada says companies are hedging hiring plans and wage growth expectations in the coming months over heightened uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The central bank’s business outlook survey finds hiring intentions remain below their historical averages, suggesting modest hiring plans even as the overall outlook on employment edges up.
Almost one-third of businesses told the bank they expect their workforce numbers to remain below pre-pandemic levels for at least the next 12 months, or to never fully recover.
The survey also finds that wage growth is widely expected to slow over the next year, mostly a result of the pandemic and ongoing uncertainty, with some firms reporting a wage freeze.
The bank also says that nearly half of firms surveyed used the federal wage subsidy program to avoid layoffs or quickly refill positions.
About 100 firms took part in the bank’s regular survey out this morning, but did so between late August and mid-September when COVID-19 case counts were still low.
School exposures to COVID-19 piled up in B.C. over the weekend, with additional outbreaks reported at a Surrey meat processing plant and care homes in Surrey and Langley.
On Sunday, the principal of Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver told parents that there had been another exposure at the school — within the attached North Shore Child Care Centre — and that the centre would close for two weeks, effective Monday.
Health Canada is asking British Columbians to download its COVID Alert app, despite the provincial government not yet agreeing to support the technology.
Health Canada told Postmedia News that the app could still be of use, despite it not being adopted in B.C.
“The COVID Alert app is free and voluntary, and is another tool to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks,” said Health Canada spokesperson Maryse Durette.
“At all levels of uptake, COVID Alert can help reduce transmission. The more people who use the app the more effective it will be.”
Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.
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British Columbia, Coronavirus, Health Canada
World news – THAT – COVID-19 update for Oct. 19: 499 new cases, two additional deaths