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Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Stephen Brown, deputy minister of health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are announcing four 24-hour reporting periods.

"In the first reporting period from Oct. 9 to 10, we had 170 new cases. From Oct. 10 to 11, we had 159 new cases. From Oct. 11 to 12, we had 119 cases and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 101 new cases.

"This represents a total of 549 new cases, including five epi-linked cases, for a total of 10,734 cases in British Columbia.

"The increase in cases is in part a result of a recent testing backlog, which was cleared with extra lab processing over the weekend. While this has meant an increase in the overall number of confirmed positive cases, the active cases and percentage positive remain stable.

"There are 1,476 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,618 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 8,974 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Currently, 77 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 24 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 3,892 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 5,595 in the Fraser Health region, 235 in the Island Health region, 582 in the Interior Health region, 341 in the Northern Health region and 89 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There have been five new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 250 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dr. Bonnie Henry has provided the latest figures of COVID-19 in BC.

(Previous numbers in brackets)

New Cases – 549 *Day 1- 170, Day 2- 159, Day 3- 119, Day 4- 101

Total Cases – 10,734 (10,185)

Active Cases – 1,476 (1,406)

Patients in Hospital – 77 (68)

Patients in ICU – 24 (19)

Recovered – 8,974 (8,502)

New Deaths – 5

Totals Deaths – 250 (245)

Health region breakdown;

Vancouver Coastal – 3,892 (3,728)

Fraser – 5,595 (5,253)

Island – 235 (225)

Interior – 582 (559)

Northern – 341 (331)

Outside Canada – 89 (89)

More to come.

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Bc Elections

Elections BC has provided further details into the vast number of British Columbians who have requested vote by mail packages.

To date, 2,365 vote by mail packages have been requested by voters in Fraser-Nicola.

That represents 11.2% of eligible voters in the riding.

Those figures could easily lead to results being delayed, as back in 2017, Liberal Jackie Tegart won the seat by just over 500 votes.

Should the election be too close to call on election night, the absentee ballots would need to be confirmed and counted during final count, which doesn’t begin until at least 13 days following the election.

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As of October 9, Elections BC announced that approximately 650,000 vote by mail packages had been requested for the upcoming provincial election.

For comparison, during the 2017 election, around 11,000 vote by mail packages were requested and 6,500 were actually returned to Elections BC.

The sheer bulk of potential vote by mail or absentee ballots could result in the election results being delayed by weeks.

“We have final count, which is the count of all absentee ballots which can not begin until a minimum of 13 days after election day. This is when all absentee ballots, including vote by mail ballots, are counted,” said Anton Boegman from Elections BC.

“If there are a significant number of absentee ballots, preparation time before final count may take longer,” added Boegman.

Boegman could not offer specifics because the final number of absentee ballots is still unknown.

The time taken to count the ballots is to ensure that nobody has voted twice and to confirm the voter is eligible.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Voght Development

Spayum Holding Limited Partnership, a consortium of local First Nations, is proposing to develop the parcels at 3350 Voght Street and 3155 Grimmett Street, formerly the site of the Grasslands Motel. The proposed development includes 15 townhomes fronting Voght Street and 52 modular homes in a modular home park, which would have vehicular access off Grimmett Street.

To accomplish the project, the City would need to approve a zoning amendment and an official community plan amendment.

The existing zoning of the subject property is Corridor Commercial (C4), which allows for a mix of commercial and residential uses. The applicant is requesting a change to a split zone of Medium Density Residential (R7), Residential Modular Home (R4), and Park & Cemetery (P1).

“The current zone allows buildings up to 22 metres in height or five stories, and the current zone also doesn’t have a maximum density,” said Planning Manager Don McArthur. “The developer has proposed a zone which includes lower height and lower density.”

“I want to be clear modular homes are manufactured homes. These are not trailers, these are not mobile homes,” added MacArthur

This evening Merrittonians will have the opportunity to have their voices heard on the project during a public hearing.

Due to COVID-19, the public hearing will be held at the Civic Centre to allow for proper physical distancing among the public, the hearing will begin at 6 pm.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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SD58 BLUE

The local school district has announced that a member of their community has tested positive for COVID-19.

“A member of the Merritt side of the School District community has tested positive for COVID-19. They are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams. We can also confirm that at this time students were not exposed,” wrote Superintendent Steve McNiven.

Interior Health is performing contact tracing to determine who, if anyone, may have been in contact with the patient.

At this time only close contacts will be informed that they may have been exposed to the virus.

“To ensure personal privacy rights are maintained, we will not be providing additional details,” added McNiven.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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SnowFALLWarniNg

Snowfall warning in effect for:

  • Okanagan Connector - Merritt to Kelowna

Snowfall with total amounts of 15 to 20 cm is expected.

Snow, heavy at times, is expected over the Pennask and Kootenay Pass summits today.

A frontal system will cross the province today. Snow levels have lowered to near 1200 m ahead of this system, and snow began overnight. The heavy snow is expected to continue through this morning with an additional 15 cm. Snow will taper off in the afternoon.

Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop.

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