COVID-19 Diary – Day 224

Daily New Cases Continue to Set Records

Unfortunately, and for the 4th time in 6 days, BC has set a new record for how many new COVID-19 cases are reported in a single day within the province. Today the record jumped from 203 to 274, and startling 35% increase.

In her public update this afternoon, Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned that if things continue on this trend she may need to enact further health orders to stem the growth of new cases. The new measures could include conditions on wedding licences and reducing the province’s current 50-person limit on gatherings. “We will use all the tools that are available,” she said. 

EU Removes Canadians from Approved Travellers List

In July the European Union created a list of countries’ citizens that were approved for travel to the EU. Until just recently Canada had been on the list (and had been since its inception), but due to recent increases in COVID-19 cases, has now been removed. The new list of countries approved for travel to the EU is as follows:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Rapid Testing for International Travellers

The airline industry has been pushing the Canadian Government for an alternative to the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for international travellers. On November 2nd, it looks like they will get their wish… although it will just be for a trial period of 26 weeks, and strictly exclusive to the Calgary International Airport.

The new system will be an option for international travellers flying into the Calgary Airport, and anyone opting into it must also agree to…

  • stay within Alberta after their arrival
  • enter quarantine until test results are delivered in as little as 2 days If the results are negative, guests are no longer required to stay at home. If the results are positive, the 14-day quarantine is still required.
  • commit to submitting a second test after 6-7 days for validation and data collection
  • provide daily check-ins
  • avoid large events and senior care facilities
  • wear a mask in public

The Government of Canada may choose to restrict or broaden the trial at any point.

First Vaccine Doses Expected Early 2021

Dr. Bonnie Henry has expressed confidence that at least one of the 10 vaccine candidates currently in Phase III trials will be proven to be safe and effective, and is optimistic that we may see early batches arrive even as soon as this upcoming January. Initial batches will certainly be very limited, and decisions are currently being made on who should be the first to receive them. While nothing is confirmed at this point, likely candidates are healthcare workers, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions that put them at heightened risk.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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