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Joint statement on Province of B.C.’s COVID-19 response, latest updates

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Health

Joint statement on Province of B.C.’s COVID-19 response, latest updates

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Media Contacts
For non-medical information relating to COVID-19:
Visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19
Email: servicebc@gov.bc.ca
Or call: 1 888 COVID-19
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
Joint Information Centre
COVID Provincial Co-ordination Plan
embc.covidjic@gov.bc.ca
236 478-1336
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Media Contacts
For non-medical information relating to COVID-19:
Visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19
Email: servicebc@gov.bc.ca
Or call: 1 888 COVID-19
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
Joint Information Centre
COVID Provincial Co-ordination Plan
embc.covidjic@gov.bc.ca
236 478-1336

Backgrounders

Assisted living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings with confirmed COVID-19 cases

Vancouver Coastal Health region:

  • Lynn Valley long-term care facility 
  • Hollyburn long-term care facility 
  • Haro Park long-term care facility
  • German Canadian House long-term care facility
  • Little Mountain long-term care facility
  • Broadway Pentecostal Lodge long-term care facility
  • Windermere Care Centre long-term care facility
  • Villa Cathay long-term care facility
  • Inglewood Lodge long-term care facility
  • Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility
  • Berkley Care Centre long-term care facility
  • Central City Lodge

Fraser Health: 

  • Delta View long-term care facility
  • Dufferin Care Centre (Coquitlam)
  • Evergreen Heights (assisted living)
  • The Harrison at Elim Village long-term care facility
  • Langley Gardens long-term care facility
  • Shaughnessy Care Centre long-term care facility
  • Amica Retirement Home long-term care facility
  • Langley Lodge long-term care facility
  • Swedish Canadian Manor assisted living
  • Cedarbrook Chateau independent living
  • Worthington Pavilion – rehabilitation residence
B.C. researchers join the fight against COVID-19

The Ministry of Health, at the request of Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, provided $2 million dollars to the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) to support a provincial research response to COVID-19.

MSFHR is British Columbia’s health research funding agency. Funded by the Province, MSFHR helps develop, retain and recruit the talented people whose research improves the health of British Columbians.

On April 6, MSFHR will open the first of several funding calls for B.C. researchers who have research projects that could provide high quality scientific research to help B.C. get through the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic safely and effectively, and that could help prevent a significant return in the future.

The first research call will address the following:

  • Rapid evaluation of public health countermeasures.
  • B.C. population-specific epidemiologic support for decision makers, including the identification and monitoring of key groups (e.g., residents of long-term care facilities, inner city populations, Indigenous peoples, health-care workers, etc).
  • Human geographic considerations in B.C., including rural populations, community, culture and population movement.
  • The identification and mitigation of the impacts of the pandemic and pandemic response, including the secondary effects on the health of the population of B.C.
  • The impacts of rapid health-service redesign and redeployment on health outcomes in B.C.

MSFHR has also funded four projects, already underway:

  • Tracking the transmission of COVID-19 in B.C.
  • Testing B.C.’s baseline susceptibility to COVID-19.
  • Developing a vaccine for COVID-19.
  • Understanding the impact of the “infodemic,” a term coined by the World Health Organization to describe spreads of disinformation on the virus.

These projects are all directly supporting the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Further investigative and research actions undertaken in the Province currently include research projects in progress from BCCDC, University of British Columbia (UBC) and UBC Okanagan, University of the Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers University, Simon Fraser University, Royal Roads University, BC Institute of Technology, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Providence Health Care Research Institute and many more coming together.

A few key B.C.-based research projects funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research are:

  • Receptor-blocking drug research.
  • Pilot trial of drug treatments in patients with severe COVID-19 in China and precision cell therapy for protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Provide virtual care to patients undergoing home isolation/quarantine and collect data on symptom reporting, transmission and incubation period.
  • Strengthen global coordination of the COVID-19 outbreak response through a fuller understanding of cross-border measures adopted, their likely impacts, reason(s) for adoption and strategies to increase compliance.
  • Identify individual and community risk factors for mental health outcomes during and after the quarantine, thereby determining the course of post-quarantine recovery and pinpointing the populations that need public health services the most.
  • Artificial intelligence-augmented technology for drug development against COVID-19.

As well, research is underway at an independent lab Abcellera Inc., working with the University of British Columbia, to fast-track antibody products to treat and prevent COVID-19.

The BCCDC, with support from MSFHR, is committing to many projects around tracking through seroepidemiology (epidemiological investigations involving the identification of antibodies to specific antigens in populations of individuals) to follow B.C. population exposure, data to establish a baseline and obtain estimates of cumulative incidence over time to inform a response, and provide information on herd immunity and inform vaccine planning.

They are also working on mathematical modeling of the epidemic.

This is only a snapshot of actions undertaken, which are overseen by a strategic research advisory committee led by Dr. David Patrick and supported by former provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall and other noted public-health experts. The committee is strongly focused on facilitating research to end to the threat of emerging and re-emerging COVID-19 epidemics.

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