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COVID-19 news and numbers for March 12

The BCCDC reports 27 cases in Peace River North, 19 cases in Peace River South, and none in Fort Nelson between Feb. 28 to March 6.

There were 311 active COVID-19 cases in the Northern Health region as of March 12, with 56 new cases reported Friday (5,101 total).

There have been 4,667 recoveries, 110 deaths, and 68,088 tests to date. Fourteen are in hospital, 9 in critical care.

The outbreak at the Dawson Creek hospital has been declared over. There were nine patient cases and five staff cases, as well as one death of a patient.

The BCCDC reports 27 cases in Peace River North, 19 cases in Peace River South, and none in Fort Nelson between Feb. 28 to March 6.

To date, 380,743 vaccine doses have been given in B.C., including 12,047 in northern B.C.

Recent exposures

Northern Health reports recent school exposures at:

  • North Peace Secondary School, Fort St. John - March 3 to 4

  • North Peace Secondary School, Fort St. John - March 1 to 2

  • North Peace Secondary School, Fort St. John - Feb. 24 to 26

  • Energetic Learning Campus, Fort St. John - Feb. 22 to 24

  • North Peace Secondary School, Fort St. John - Feb. 22 to 23

  • Notre Dame School, Dawson Creek - Feb. 16 to 18

  • Dawson Creek Secondary School (South Peace Campus), Dawson Creek - Feb. 16 to 17

  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary, Dawson Creek - Feb. 16

  • North Peace Secondary School, Fort St. John - Feb. 16 to 17

  • Ma Murray Community School, Fort St. John - Feb 17 to 18

  • Ma Murray Community School, Fort St. John - Feb 11 to 12, and 16

There have been no flight exposures listed for Fort St. John so far in 2021.

Across B.C.

There were 5,070 active cases reported as of March 12, with 648 new cases reported Friday (86,867 total).

There have been 80,325 recoveries and 1,397 deaths to date, with no new deaths reported.

There are 255 patients in hospital, 67 in critical care.

In northern Alberta, there were 822 active cases, 11,685 recoveries, and 141 deaths as of March 12. Twenty-nine are in hospital, two in intensive care. 

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What we're reading

#ZeroCOVID or #HarmReduction?"Though some countries are close to achieving the idea of a 'Zero Covid' goal, U.S. doctor Vinay Prasad questions whether that’s even possible, let alone practical, on a global scale. The doctor makes a pragmatic argument in favour of harm reduction instead, and points out the probable troubles and severe downsides of a world subjected to the whims of lockdown: riots and strife, military force, kids with educational deficits, and the loss of upward mobility for all of us." — Matt Preprost, managing editor

Most international travelers still exempt from new COVID hotel quarantine rules"New rules looking like the old rules." — Tom Summer, reporter

Why So Many Are Gambling with Contracting Covid-19"What are the chances of catching COVID? Dying from the vaccine? Mathematician Joseph Mazur isn't sure he can say, but he shares some insight into the psychology of gambling addition to help cut through common misunderstanding and beliefs about the pandemic." — Matt Preprost, managing editor

International travel 'biggest impact' on deaths"International travel the leading cause for COVID deaths, say experts. Not shocking, but neat we finally have data to prove it." — Tom Summer, reporter

The Pandemic That Lasted 15 Million Years“Hidden in the human genome is a so-called viral ‘fossil’ called ERV-Fc, which scientists believe originated 33 million years and caused a pandemic that infected at least 26 species, including the common ancestor of all Great Apes. A cool short doc from PBS on what scientists are still trying to learn about this virus.” — Matt Preprost, managing editor

Don't like Canada's new mandatory quarantine? It's part of why New Zealand is now back to normal"Island nations are faring much better in the pandemic. National Post is more or less making the argument that we should adopt their COVID strategy." — Tom Summer, reporter

Vancouver man fined $2,500 for makeshift nightclub: "Called Granny’s, the penthouse nighclub featured exotic dancers, DJs, light shows, servers, and a full bar. The fine was handed to a doorman, but the actual owner is Mohammad Movassaghi, a former wealth adviser who bought the penthouse less than two months ago for just under $3 million. It shows how people with wealth can afford to break the rules; the $2,500 would hardly be an inconvenience." — Tom Summer, reporter

How Canada's battle against the second wave is going: "As British Columbians look forward to Feb. 5 in hopes COVID-19 restrictions will be loosened, this article from Macleans, and especially its third graph, shows that B.C. is down to it’s lowest daily case count since early November, and has managed the recent spike well — and much better than the other provinces across the country." — Dillon Giancola, reporter

Fast-spreading COVID variant can elude immune responses"I feel like COVID is reaching urban myth status as a virus, with even experts confused on what it can and can’t do. Naming every variant sort of plays into the fear that people already have surrounding the pandemic. But, if the science is to be trusted we might not even be able to achieve herd immunity." — Tom Summer, reporter

Foreign nationals getting their COVID shots in Florida"Where do we draw the line on medical tourism in our post-COVID world? I’ve already seen lots of stories on doctors jumping the queue, but this is interesting. Snowbirds are getting their shots in Florida, then hopping back. So are others from around the world where vaccines are restricted to priority groups." — Tom Summer, reporter

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine contender"In a Quebec City greenhouse, scientists are experimenting with tobacco plants to find a made-in-Canada vaccine for COVID-19. They've already used the plants to develop a vaccine for influenza, under review by Health Canada, while phase 3 trials for a possible COVID vaccine begin this month in 11 countries." — Matt Preprost, managing editor

The Lab-Leak Hypothesis"Did the COVID-19 virus escape from a lab? A timely question as WHO scientists only now begin their investigations into its origins one year after it emerged in Wuhan, China. Many experts and critics dismiss the theory, but Nicholas Barker’s exhaustive 14-chapter article for New York Magazine brings readers into a world of global virus research out of sight and out of mind to the ordinary person — and to a mine shaft 940 miles from Wuhan, where the closest known relative of the COVID-19 virus was discovered in 2013.” — Matt Preprost, managing editor

Lead Pickton prosecutor dies of COVID-19 complications"It’s not really about COVID, it’s just about a man. I think it’s important to put a face to people who have actually died from COVID." — Tom Summer, reporter

How COVID-19 can damage the brain"Scientists will be studying COVID-19 for years to come. People continue to have a wide variety of symptoms and lingering effects: delirium, psychosis, memory loss, strokes. Some develop symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis. Researchers know the virus can infect neurons, but are struggling to understand why. Biobanks are being created to store tissue samples for the years of research to come." — Dillon Giancola, reporter

Latest news for March 2

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  • B.C. is extending restrictions on social gatherings, religious services, and events indefinitely.

  • Quebec judge sides with Hasidic Jews, changes COVID rules on religious gatherings

  • Employment in northeast B.C. grew by 100 in January as job growth flattened across the province to start the new year.

  • The latest on COVID at Site C: 1,026 workers in camp, 4 active cases, 3 in isolation.

  • Richard Bell ready to lead Peace Gallery North into post-pandemic future.

  • Anti-poverty groups blast Canada for accepting vaccines needed in poor countries.

  • Trudeau defends tapping COVAX program meant to ensure equitable vaccine access for poorer countries.

  • Fort St. John is facing a $3.6-million deficit this year, of which $1.1 million is related to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • COVID taxation an ‘ad hoc, band-aid process,’ says accountant.

  • Active cases in Northern Health stood at 397 on Thursday — a 32-case jump from the day before.

  • Crystal Cup postponed for second year, moved to 2022.

  • B.C. officials urge 'safe choices' on Super Bowl Sunday

Latest news for Feb. 4

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Latest news for Jan. 28

  • The latest on COVID at Site C: 988 workers in camp, 4, active cases, 3 in isolation.

  • Pfizer and BioNTech are already assuming Canada will agree their vaccine vials contain six doses instead of five and are using that to project how many vials they will send Canada in the coming weeks.

Latest news for Jan. 27

Latest news for Jan. 26

  • New infections in B.C. continue to trend lower.

  • The latest on COVID at Site C: 944 workers in camp, 5 active cases, 3 in self-isolation.

  • Couple accused of flying to Yukon for vaccine 'despicable': B.C. minister

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning Canadians to cancel any non-essential trips planned abroad or even within Canada as new travel restrictions are on the way.

Latest news for Jan. 25

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