Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Sept. 18, 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.
Check back here for more updates throughout the day.
As of the latest figures given on Sept. 17:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 7,663 (1,705 active)
• New cases since Sept. 16: 165
• Hospitalized cases: 57
• Intensive care: 22
• COVID-19 related deaths: 220
• Cases under public health monitoring: 2,966
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 15
GUIDES AND LINKS
3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.
Health officials are warning about potential COVID-19 exposure at a pub in Kitsilano.
Vancouver Coastal Health says anyone who visited the King’s Head Public House at 1618 Yew Street from Sept. 4 to Sept. 7 may have been exposed to the virus and should monitor for symptoms.
B.C. teachers are appealing to the Labour Relations Board to help them address unsafe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation, the union representing the province’s teachers, filed the application with the LRB Thursday under section 88 of the labour code.
“Our concerns are not being taken seriously by the government,” said BCTF president Terri Mooring, at an online news conference Friday.
Mooring would not say whether teachers were prepared to go on strike, but instead said they are trying to prevent labour unrest by going to the LRB.
The BCTF argues there are insufficient remote learning opportunities, insufficient resources for preventative measures, and that the B.C. government has failed to reduce student class sizes.
She noted that British Columbians are being asked to keep their pandemic “bubbles” to six people, but there is no way families with school-aged children can do this when their kids are in school groups of 60 or 120 students. The government calls this a controlled setting, however Mooring argues that it is only controlled for contact tracing, not to prevent transmission.
Further, the safety precautions for students and teachers that the government promised this summer are vastly different than what teachers are witnessing, said Mooring.
For instance, she said there are reports that some schools are rationing masks while others not enforcing the wearing of masks, even in high traffic areas.
Section 88 of the labour code is a rarely used provision that allows the board to take action to settle differences between employers and employees during the term of a collective agreement.
6 a.m. – B.C. government says majority of students from K-12 returned to in-class learning
The B.C. government says early attendance numbers show more than 85 per cent of K-12 public school students returned for in-class learning.
The Ministry of Education surveyed school districts and independent schools to find out what investments they were making and how they were supporting students and staff during the pandemic.
To date, 44 public school districts and 129 independent schools have reported to the ministry.
All school boards were given the authority to offer remote options to students within their districts, as well as the tools needed to increase their existing programs to meet any demand.
If a family needs alternative learning options, school districts are expected to work with families to provide remote options that keep children connected to their school communities.
British Columbia introduced on Thursday a new COVID-19 testing method for school children.
The rinse, gargle and spit test, as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry described it, is less invasive than the current nasal and oral swab tests used to detect COVID-19.
According to the Provincial Health Services Authority, the test requires the patient to gargle and swish salt water around their mouths for about 20 seconds before spitting into a funnelled container.
Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.
–with files from The Canadian Press