COVID-19 Diary – Day 238

By Popular Demand: A Search Bar

Almost since the first day of this website being open to the public we have had requests to add a search bar. Today we are happy to announce that we have added search bars to our Home and Blog pages, for your convenience. Why did it take us so long to add search bars to these pages? We greatly overestimated the difficulty that would be involved!

We’re sorry it took so long, here is an extra one to help make up for the delay, please enjoy the search bars!

Children React Differently to SARS-CoV-2

A new study published today in the Nature Immunology Journal shows evidence that children (aged 3-18) have a distinct antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 compared to that of adults (aged 19-84). In all cases, children showed a notably lower antibody response to that found in adults. It is theorized that because children’s immune responses are geared toward all antigen experiences being new, they are faster at producing antibodies than adults and able to kill the virus faster, therefore requiring less antibody presence in their system.

An article on MedicalXpress written about this study by the Columbia University Irving Medical Center suggests that if children are quicker than adults at defeating the virus, they may also not shed the virus as long as adults, and may therefore be less contagious than adults. Further study is needed to qualify how accurate these theories may be.

Interestingly enough, a different study from back in August found that children can actually carry a very high viral load, higher than adults generally, but specifically very early in their infection timeline. It could also be possible that these two studies both reflect common results in children, and that for a short period of time children are highly infectious, and afterwards, they shed the very little virus. Further studying will be necessary.

BC Health Ministry Mandates Masks in Health Care Facilities

The BC Ministry of Health sent out an email to doctors and health care providers across the province today, letting them know of a new policy that all staff, visitors, and patients will be required to wear masks within all health care facilities. This will include long-term care/seniors assisted living facilities, other health care facilities, and settings where health care is provided. Masks will be required to be worn in all situations except when people are eating/drinking, and in most situations where a patient is in their private room.

It is also important to note that this policy requires the use of medical masks specifically, and they must meet ISO (or equivalent) performance requirements. You can read the entire message below:

Employers CAN Mandate Masks

With many workplaces now requiring their employees to wear masks at work, some people have claimed that requiring the use of personal protective equipment violates their charter rights as a Canadian (similar claims have been made in other countries as well). Andrea Raso, A Vancouver local lawyer who specializes in employment and labour law, has now spoken up with her professional take on the matter. Employers are within their rights to make the decision to mandate mask use as part of pandemic safety measures.

Andrea Raso also does webinars and a recent one deals specifically with COVID-19 in the workplace and might be worth a watch/listen as well. You can find it here.

Canadian Government Seeks Vaccine Logistics Services

An official invitation to qualify (ITQ) has been published by the Canadian government, looking to find their ideal logistics provider for the upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine(s) currently in development. Some of the requirements include having a project manager and team ready and prepared to begin work on December 15th, and an expectation of initial vaccine shipments within the first quarter of 2021. Another requirement is the ability to transport the vaccine via safe temperature-controlled means, across Canada within 48hr windows. There are also requirements for security clearance and data security processes.

This document gives us some insight into the expectations of when vaccines may become available to Canadians, as well as the difficulty in ensuring everything is transported correctly and quickly across our very large nation. The biggest surprise perhaps, is that this document was published just today on November 5th, and the window to apply for consideration closes on November 9th at 2pm Eastern Time, giving just 4 days (over a weekend even!) to prepare an outline for the service. We wish all applicants luck in preparing their bids!

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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