Coronavirus

Tent camp reappears on Pandora Ave. in Victoria, Nov. 27, 2021. Motels were bought by B.C. Housing and permanent supportive housing projects are underway in Victoria and other B.C. communities in an effort to keep up with influx of homeless people with mental and addiction conditions. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press Media)

B.C. urban mayors say they’ve hit their limit on homelessness, disorder

‘Catch and release’ system for people with mental illness, addiction

Tent camp reappears on Pandora Ave. in Victoria, Nov. 27, 2021. Motels were bought by B.C. Housing and permanent supportive housing projects are underway in Victoria and other B.C. communities in an effort to keep up with influx of homeless people with mental and addiction conditions. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press Media)
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix takes questions from reporters in Vancouver about the return to classroom instruction in schools, Jan. 7, 2022. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. counts almost 7,000 cases over weekend, hospitalization jumps

7 more COVID-19 outbreaks in senior homes, 7 more deaths

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix takes questions from reporters in Vancouver about the return to classroom instruction in schools, Jan. 7, 2022. (B.C. government photo)
Students were back to class in Alberta and B.C. Monday morning, Jan. 10. (Pixabay photo)

UPDATED: Reopened schools in Alberta and B.C. see slightly higher-than-usual absentee rates

BC School Trustees Association, says Interior schools have lower-than-average attendance levels

Students were back to class in Alberta and B.C. Monday morning, Jan. 10. (Pixabay photo)
Hospital staff deal with potential COVID-19 infection with hygiene, distancing and curtains while awaiting test results (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Darron Cummings)

Most new B.C. COVID-19 infections now in fully vaccinated people

Protection against severe illness still shown in statistics

Hospital staff deal with potential COVID-19 infection with hygiene, distancing and curtains while awaiting test results (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Darron Cummings)
Students sit together at the relocated New Westminster Secondary School, in New Westminster, B.C., on Thursday, October 14, 2021. An official opening of the new school was held on Thursday near the now shuttered former school which was built on a cemetery in the 1940s. The cemetery was used as a potter’s field where the bodies of prisoners, the poor and unidentifiable residents were buried. The land was also used by Indigenous, Chinese and Sikh communities to bury those who died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

K-12 students head back to school in B.C. amid new COVID notification system

Parents to only be notified of exposures when attendance drops below ‘typical’ rates

Students sit together at the relocated New Westminster Secondary School, in New Westminster, B.C., on Thursday, October 14, 2021. An official opening of the new school was held on Thursday near the now shuttered former school which was built on a cemetery in the 1940s. The cemetery was used as a potter’s field where the bodies of prisoners, the poor and unidentifiable residents were buried. The land was also used by Indigenous, Chinese and Sikh communities to bury those who died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Paramedics wheel a patient past ambulances outside a Toronto Hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Hospitals in several parts of Canada are straining under the weight of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with Quebec hospitalizations reaching an all-time high on Sunday and Ontario’s admissions to intensive care units surging past the 400 mark. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

COVID-19 cases fill hospital beds in parts of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick

Some regions, such as British Columbia, do not report cases or hospitalizations on the weekend.

Paramedics wheel a patient past ambulances outside a Toronto Hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Hospitals in several parts of Canada are straining under the weight of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with Quebec hospitalizations reaching an all-time high on Sunday and Ontario’s admissions to intensive care units surging past the 400 mark. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Dairy cows are shown in a barn on a farm in Eastern Ontario on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Farm groups say they’re fearful the highly contagious Omicron variant could severely stress Canadian food production. Dairy farms, greenhouses, and mushroom farms are some of the sectors that could be most vulnerable to interruptions if large numbers of employees need to stay home sick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Highly contagious variant could stress Canadian food production, farm groups say

Outbreaks at Alberta meat-packing plants in 2020 sickened hundreds and killed 4

Dairy cows are shown in a barn on a farm in Eastern Ontario on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Farm groups say they’re fearful the highly contagious Omicron variant could severely stress Canadian food production. Dairy farms, greenhouses, and mushroom farms are some of the sectors that could be most vulnerable to interruptions if large numbers of employees need to stay home sick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Dr. Nathan Stall administers a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 77-year-old Vernal Davis as Dr. Stall and Toronto city councilor Josh Matlow bring third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to homebound seniors and their caregivers in Toronto, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. The pair are working against lowering the barriers to getting the most vulnerable boosted with their third dose. As parts of Canada see staggering rises in COVID-19 activity amid Omicron’s rapid spread, experts say the highly transmissible variant is training a spotlight on social inequities across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Rapid spread of Omicron showing ‘tale of two pandemics: rich and poor’

“If you have money, you’re able to afford the protection you need to survive and be safe.”

Dr. Nathan Stall administers a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 77-year-old Vernal Davis as Dr. Stall and Toronto city councilor Josh Matlow bring third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to homebound seniors and their caregivers in Toronto, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. The pair are working against lowering the barriers to getting the most vulnerable boosted with their third dose. As parts of Canada see staggering rises in COVID-19 activity amid Omicron’s rapid spread, experts say the highly transmissible variant is training a spotlight on social inequities across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

BCTF calls for N95s, boosters, enhanced ventilation to curb Omicron spread in schools

BCTF president Teri Mooring spoke at a news conference after the province’s plan was announced

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Ambulance workers transport a patient to the emergency room as hospitalizations continue to rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, January 5, 2022 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Key sectors facing staffing struggles amid escalating pandemic

Omicron stretching health care resources across Canada

Ambulance workers transport a patient to the emergency room as hospitalizations continue to rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, January 5, 2022 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston holds up a COVID-19 rapid test kit, December 2021. B.C. is also using self-administered rapid tests for remote and Indigenous communities, and expects to have tests available for parents and school staff by mid-January. (CYFN/Facebook)

COVID-19 business plans ordered reinstated for all B.C. companies

Nine more deaths, hospitalizations and ICU up again Friday

Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston holds up a COVID-19 rapid test kit, December 2021. B.C. is also using self-administered rapid tests for remote and Indigenous communities, and expects to have tests available for parents and school staff by mid-January. (CYFN/Facebook)
People aged 12 to 59 years old were 25 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 if they were unvaccinated, according to PHAC’s data between Nov. 7 and Dec. 4, 2021. (Black Press file photo).

Canada’s health minister says more provincial vaccine mandates likely

Jean-Yves Duclos said such a measure is not currently being contemplated in Canada

People aged 12 to 59 years old were 25 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 if they were unvaccinated, according to PHAC’s data between Nov. 7 and Dec. 4, 2021. (Black Press file photo).
Advocates say front-line supermarket workers are facing the biggest risks due to COVID. (contributed photo)

Pressure mounting for grocers to bring back ‘hero pay’ amid Omicron surge

Advocates calling for reinstatement of pay bump due to increasing COVID concerns

Advocates say front-line supermarket workers are facing the biggest risks due to COVID. (contributed photo)
Skiers on the Boomerang Chair at Fernie Alpine Resort. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

High elevation, high numbers: B.C. resort towns report COVID spikes

Resort communities are at more risk, according to Dr. Karin Goodison of Interior Health

Skiers on the Boomerang Chair at Fernie Alpine Resort. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, March 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

NHL postpones Saturday’s Canucks-Senators game over ongoing capacity limit

Neither the Canucks (16-15-3) nor the Sens (9-18-2) have played since Jan. 1

An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, March 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside speak about COVID-19 measures in B.C. schools at the Vancouver cabinet offices, Dec. 29, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. to deploy rapid COVID-19 tests for school staff when they arrive

Expansion to students with symptoms depends on supply: Henry

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside speak about COVID-19 measures in B.C. schools at the Vancouver cabinet offices, Dec. 29, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
Troy Weppler, shown in this handout image, who lives in Saskatoon, says he sent a box of five rapid tests to family in British Columbia because they were unable to get any in that province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

‘Why do I feel so guilty?’ Saskatchewan residents sending rapid tests out of province

It’s puzzling for most people elsewhere in Canada where the demand for tests vastly outweighs supply

Troy Weppler, shown in this handout image, who lives in Saskatoon, says he sent a box of five rapid tests to family in British Columbia because they were unable to get any in that province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Ambulance workers transport a patient to the emergency room as hospitalizations continue to rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Montreal, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the Omicron variant is causing an "enormous" volume of COVID-19 cases, but severe illness is not rising at the same rate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Omicron causes ‘enormous’ caseload, but severe illness not rising at same rate: Tam

Daily counts 400 per cent higher than third wave peak, severe illness not spiking in same way

Ambulance workers transport a patient to the emergency room as hospitalizations continue to rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Montreal, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the Omicron variant is causing an "enormous" volume of COVID-19 cases, but severe illness is not rising at the same rate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Lycah Frugal, 4, is held by her father Bernardo, as she gets her COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic Friday, November 26, 2021 as the campaign to vaccinate children aged 5-11 continues in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Pediatrician urges parents to have COVID talk with their health provider

UBC professor says national vaccination rate among children aged five to 11 is too low

Lycah Frugal, 4, is held by her father Bernardo, as she gets her COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic Friday, November 26, 2021 as the campaign to vaccinate children aged 5-11 continues in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Sparwood mayor David Wilks. (File photo)

‘We don’t have the capacity’: East Kootenay Mayor takes aim at COVID health orders

With limited resources, local governments and private businesses are under too much strain from public health orders according to Sparwood Mayor David Wilks

Sparwood mayor David Wilks. (File photo)