COVID-19 Update for July 26: Omicron BA.5 Accounts for 82 Percent of COVID Variants in the US: CDC | For vaccines for children under 5 years old, Quebec urged to change the message

If you land in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, or Calgary, you may have the small misfortune of being randomly selected for a mandatory test.

You should know sooner rather than later, as the notification email is supposed to arrive in your inbox within 15 minutes after your customs declaration is completed. That email will have information on where you can get a test.

Random COVID-19 testing returns at major Canadian airports, including YVR

Mandatory random COVID-19 testing of travelers arriving at four major Canadian airports, including YVR, begins today.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says testing will be done off-site. This applies to travelers arriving at Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver airports. Testing “will be completed outside of airports, either through an in-person appointment at select pharmacy and testing provider locations, or a virtual appointment for a swab test. ,” PHAC said in a statement.

After travelers complete their customs declaration, including those who qualify as fully vaccinated and those who don’t, they will receive an email within 15 minutes if they are selected for mandatory random testing.

Random testing stopped on June 11 as a “temporary measure” to coordinate how external testing would work.

— The National Post

Saskatchewan will begin vaccinating children under 5 against COVID-19

Saskatchewan says it will offer COVID-19 vaccinations for children under the age of five starting Friday.

Health officials said Wednesday that the province has received 13,000 doses of Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine for children six months to five years.

They said that due to limited supply, the province is first opening appointments for those who are at high risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19.

Parents who have an immunocompromised child can reserve the vaccine starting Thursday along with other eligible children in the same household.

Appointments for everyone else open on Friday, when vaccinations will begin.

Last week, Health Canada licensed Spikevax for use in children, making it the first licensed vaccine for the age group.

— The Canadian Press

Quebec reports more than 2,000 hospitalizations for the first time since May

Quebec reports more than 2,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time since early May.

The health department is also reporting another 14 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus and an increase of 97 COVID-19 patients.

Authorities say 2,057 people are hospitalized with the disease after 273 patients were admitted in the last 24 hours and 176 were discharged.

Fifty-seven COVID-19 patients are in intensive care, an increase of two from the day before.

Read the full story here.

— The Canadian Press

Albertans 18 and older can soon start pre-ordering fourth COVID-19 vaccine

Albertans ages 18 and older will soon be able to reserve their fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Alberta Health said in a news release that adults can start booking their second booster shot on Wednesday, as long as five months have passed since their first booster.

He said the expanded availability will give residents more options to protect themselves against COVID-19 during a period of increased community transmission.

“Vaccines remain critical to reducing the risk of serious outcomes and protecting our health care system,” Health Minister Jason Copping said in Tuesday’s statement.

— The Canadian Press

CDC endorses a more traditional Novavax COVID vaccine for adults

American adults who have not yet received any COVID-19 vaccine should consider a new option from Novavax, a more traditional type of vaccine, health officials said Tuesday.

Regulators last week authorized the country’s first putative protein vaccine against COVID-19, but the final hurdle was a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If you’ve been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine based on technology other than those previously available, now is the time to join the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. , endorsing an earlier decision by an influential advisory panel.

Most Americans have already received at least their primary COVID-19 vaccines, but CDC officials said that between 26 million and 37 million adults have not received a single dose, the population that Novavax will target, for now.

– The Associated Press

Younger Canadian Men Least Likely to Take Pandemic Precautions Amid 7th Wave: Survey

Concern among Canadians about a looming wave of COVID-19 splits along generational and gender lines, with men under 55 less concerned about contracting the virus and less likely to mask up or take precautions, according to a new survey.

The Angus Reid Institute survey, released Tuesday, found that 68 per cent of Canadians over the age of 55 are more concerned about getting sick compared to 44 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and 43 per cent of those from 18 to 34. years of age.

Older Canadians are more likely to have experienced severe shocks from a COVID-19 infection, leading to greater personal concern about contracting the virus, the nonprofit institute noted: “However, the gap in concern between 35 and 54-year-olds and 55-plus has never been as broad as it is today.”

Read the full story here.

—Cheryl Chan

Two in three vaccinated in BC ready for a booster, but vaccine skepticism is significant

Two in three vaccinated British Colombians are ready to receive a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible, one of the highest rates in Canada, according to a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute.

While the 66 per cent in BC who have received at least a couple of doses say they are ready to take another injection when offered, the Canadian average is just over 60 per cent. There are also many skeptics about the effectiveness of vaccines in the province, and our neighbors to the east are even more reluctant.

Nine percent in BC say they are unvaccinated, which is about the national average, compared to 16 percent in Alberta, the highest rate of non-vaccination in the country.

Read the full story here.

—Joseph Ruttle

What are BC’s current public health measures?

MASKS: Masks are not required in indoor public settings, although individual businesses and event organizers may choose to require them.

The use of masks is also recommended, but not required, aboard BC public transportation and ferries, although they are still required in federally regulated travel spaces, such as trains, airports and airplanes, and in care settings. medical.

MEETINGS AND EVENTS: There are currently no restrictions on gatherings and events such as personal gatherings, weddings, funerals, religious services, exercise and fitness activities, and swimming pools. There are also no restrictions or capacity limits in restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs; and no restrictions on sports activities.

CARE HOMES: There are no capacity restrictions for visitors to long-term care and assisted living facilities for the elderly, however, visitors must show proof of immunizations prior to visiting. Waivers are available for children under the age of 12, those with a medical waiver, and visitors attending compassionate end-of-life visits.

Visitors to nursing homes should also take a rapid antigen test before visiting the facility or get tested upon arrival. Testing waivers are available for those attending compassionate visitation or end-of-life care.

How do I get vaccinated in BC?

Anyone who lives in BC and is eligible for a vaccine can get one by following these steps:

• Register online at to book an appointment in your community.
• Or, if you prefer, you can register and then visit a drop-in clinic at your health authority.
• The system will notify you when it is time to go for your second dose.
• The same system will also notify you when it is time for your booster dose.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

TEST CENTERS: Currently, BC’s COVID-19 test collection centers are only testing those with symptoms who are hospitalized, pregnant, considered high-risk, or live/work with high-risk individuals. You can find a testing center using the BC Center for Disease Control test center map.

If you have mild symptoms, you do not need a test and should stay home until your fever is gone. Those without symptoms do not need a test.

TAKE HOME RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS: Eligible British Columbians over the age of 18 with a Personal Health Number can visit a pharmacy to receive a free take-home test kit containing five rapid COVID-19 antigen tests.

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