COVID-19 update for April 3: 14 Canucks players test positive | 11 B.C. churches plan to hold Easter service Sunday in defiance |Two Vancouver restaurants defy orders | Variants continue to rise in B.C. | Belligerent anti-masker forces ferry to turn back to dock – Vancouver Sun

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 April 3, 2021.

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 April 3 (some data not available, as noted below):

• Total number of confirmed cases: 102,970 (7,405 active; no update Saturday)
• New cases since April 1: 2,090 (1,018 Friday, 1,072 Saturday)
• Total deaths: 1,463 (five new; no update Saturday)
• Hospitalized cases: 296 (no update Saturday)
• Intensive care: 90
• Total vaccinations: 856,801 (87,455 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 11,468 (no update Saturday)
• Recovered: 91,066 (no update Saturday)
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 14

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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

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

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

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.

3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to provide a written statement on the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

2:30 p.m. – More Canucks players test positive for COVID-19

A total of 14 members of the Vancouver Canucks are now on the NHL’s COVID list for having the virus after seven more were added Saturday. The latest players to be added include Travis Boyd, Jayce Hawryluk, Bo Horvat, Tyler Motte, Brandon Sutter, Tyler Myers, and Thatcher Demko.

11:30 a.m. – Eleven B.C. churches sign declaration of holding Easter service in defiance of health orders

As of Saturday afternoon, 11 B.C. churches have signed a “We Will Gather” declaration stating that they will hold Easter service on Sunday in defiance of public health orders.

The declaration is on the Liberty Coalition Canada’s website.

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11 a.m. – At least two Vancouver restaurants defy public health orders

At least two Vancouver restaurants are defying a COVID-19 provincial public health order that bans indoor dining for the next three weeks.

Under the government’s new restrictions announced earlier this week, restaurants can only serve patrons on patios or take-out. Both Gusto restaurant in Olympic Village and Corduroy in Kitsilano have indicated that they will remain open to serve customers.

Gusto restaurant owner Federico Fuoco, who already had to close one of his restaurants because of the pandemic, says these restrictions will be the “final nail in the coffin” for small business owners.

He says it’s unfair that people are still allowed to cram into malls, eat on ferries, or shop at busy mega stores like Costco and Walmart. He also questioned why the government is allowing indoor wine tasting to continue.

“Why just our industry? If it was a blanket policy at least that would be fair. If there are outbreaks, like at the poultry factories, then you isolate that one. But to punish one industry to me it is discriminatory,” said Fuoco.

On Friday, Fuoco said he would continue to serve people indoors in defiance of the order to take a stand against the “unfair” measures hurting small restaurants. Later, Vancouver Coastal Health posted a notice on the door ordering the restaurant to close.

Fuoco said Saturday morning that he is trying to get Vancouver Coastal Health to lift the order but he will abide by it for now.

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5 a.m. – Some Canucks cases connected with Brazilian P.1 variant

The news for the Vancouver Canucks has gone from bad to worse.

Postmedia has confirmed as reported first by TSN’s Farhan Lalji that several COVID-19 cases affecting the NHL club have been identified as the P.1 variant first found in Brazil.

That variant has been growing in number in B.C. over the past month and was recently identified as a major driver of an outbreak that originated in Whistler. Some research has shown the P.1 variant is as much as 2.5 times more transmissible than earlier strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Further, it is expected that more Canucks players will be confirmed as positive when the NHL updates its COVID-19 protocol list on Saturday afternoon.

Four Canucks games have already been postponed because of the team’s outbreak, which has seven players and one coach confirmed as positive cases already. And a player on the team’s taxi squad has been identified as a high-risk close contact, a source confirmed.

-Patrick Johnston

5 a.m. – Variants continue to rise, and renewed restrictions aren’t likely to stop spread, say experts

As the spread of variants of the coronavirus continues to rise in British Columbia, there is concern that renewed restriction measures may not be enough to contain the spread.

Mutations of the virus that spread more easily and can cause more severe outcomes, including increased death rates, are known as variants of concern. Another 871 variant cases were detected in B.C. in the past week, most of those the B.1.1.7 variant, known as the U.K. variant. But P.1, known as the Brazil variant, is also on the rise in B.C.

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As of Thursday, the latest date for which figures have been reported in B.C., there were 2,214 cases of the U.K. variant, 379 of the Brazil variant and 50 cases of the B.1.351 variant, known as the South African variant.

A week ago, provincial health officials said that as much as 20 per cent or more of new test-positive cases were variants of concern. That figure was not updated this week, in the latest briefing by health officials.

“Given what we’ve seen in other places around the world where B.1.1.7 has come in, we would predict sustained growth … basically until something stops it from growing anymore,” said University of B.C. epidemiologist Daniel Coombs.

“There are two options. One is vaccines and two is human behaviour. There are some pretty dire predictions about what the hospitalizations are going to look like a month from now,” added Coombs, who has expertise in mathematical models of pandemic growth and control.

-Gord Hoekstra

5 a.m. – B.C. ferry returns to dock after ‘belligerent’ anti-masker raises a fuss

The Spirit of Vancouver Island turned around and headed back to dock at Swartz Bay on Friday after a passenger refused to wear a mask and created a disturbance.

Several groups of people who are opposed to wearing masks during the pandemic were on board.

“The anti-maskers were all trying to make their 2 o’clock rally in Vancouver. So we had three or four different groups that wanted to showcase their political views,” said Kevin Lee, provincial vice-president of the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union, who happened to be on board.

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“The situation could have escalated,” he told CHEK News. “We had to turn the ship around and come back … to get one individual off who was creating the most disturbance.”

In one confrontation recorded on video, a ferry worker asks a man to put on a mask. He refuses, and is told, “We are calling the police right now.” He replies: “This is ridiculous. This is absolute insanity.”

The incident happened on the 11 a.m. ferry, said B.C. RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Manseau. A passenger became “belligerent” about wearing a non-medical mask correctly, he said.

B.C. Ferries phoned the North Saanich-Sidney RCMP, who met the passenger when the ferry returned to dock. The passenger was served two COVID-19 related fines worth $230 each.

The passenger was flagged and banned from riding again on Friday.

The vessel sailed on 44 minutes behind schedule.

-Victoria Times Colonist

12 a.m. – New outbreak at Chartwell Langley Gardens

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Chartwell Langley Gardens after five staff members tested positive.

Chartwell is a privately owned independent living, assisted living, and long-term care site in Langley.

The staff are in self-isolation at their homes.

12 a.m.  – Easter weekend warning as vaccine rollout advances in B.C.

B.C. public health officials warned residents to follow COVID-19 restrictions during the Easter weekend as the province’s vaccination plan slowly rolls out.

More than 710,000 British Columbians have received a first dose of one of three vaccines, just over 16 per cent of the 4.3 million residents over 16 years of age eligible for a vaccine.

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That’s running ahead of an anticipated 10 per cent of eligible British Columbians that were expected to be vaccinated by the end of March.


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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