Health officials say physical distancing restrictions in B.C. are successfully beginning to slow the rate of spread of new COVID-19 cases in the province, perhaps by as much as half.
But despite the “glimmer of hope,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and other officials stressed that the province is not out of the woods and the health-care system still needs to be prepared for an inevitable surge in hospitalizations.
“I’m trying not to over-call it, but I do believe we’ve seen a flattening, a falling-off of that curve,” Henry said Friday, referring to the growth of new COVID-19 patients in B.C.
“What we need, though, is for everybody to continue to pay attention to these [physical distancing] measures so we can continue to prevent transmissions in our communities … for the coming weeks.”
South Korea has been hailed around the world for its vast amount of Covid-19 testing, conducting 20,000 tests per day at the recent height of efforts to fight the disease.
But Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia is now exceeding that peak daily rate on a per capita basis by a wide margin of about 75 per cent.
On the same measure, BC is testing at more than triple the rate of the rest of Canada – and more than five times the daily rate in the US over the past week, even as Canada’s southern neighbour embarks on a huge escalation of testing efforts.
British Columbia’s health minister, Adrian Dix, announced on Tuesday that the province was conducting 3,500 tests per day.
That equates to 690 tests per million people, daily. By comparison, South Korea’s peak daily testing rate amounted to about 392 tests per million. BC has a population of 5.1 million, while South Korea has 51 million people.
David Anzarouth knew it could happen to anyone but never thought it would happen to him.
The fit 25-year-old living in Toronto didn’t worry about taking his vacation to South Beach in Miami, Fla., in early March.
But 10 days later, he found himself sitting in an isolated emergency room at Toronto General Hospital, wearing a mask and feeling “the most incredible pain that I’ve ever experienced” as he was tested for COVID-19.
A day later, the former McMaster University student learned he was infected with the virus that has led to massive disruptions in Canada and around the world as governments scramble to limit its impact.
“I can’t put into words how different this feels than anything I’ve ever experienced before,” Anzarouth told CBC News.
If you know anybody who wants in on the challenge, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation , in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), is launching a global innovation challenge to design low-cost, easy-to-use, and easy-to-build ventilators.
There is a CAD$200,000 prize money.
The top 3 designs will be available for free to download, worldwide, to help support those who are fighting the virus every moment.
Submitted by @hrefnatheravenqueen
Canada and the United States are in the advanced stages of finalizing a deal to close their shared border to non-essential travel — an extraordinary measure designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the talks say the plans are still being finalized and could be announced as early as Wednesday.
Once finalized, the agreement would close the border to tourists and shoppers while still allowing Canadians to return home. The final deal is expected to allow some commercial traffic to continue to keep critical supply chains intact
CNN first reported the development Tuesday night. Sources have confirmed the accuracy of the report. One source says Ottawa and Washington are working together on the plan, and that it will be reciprocal.