And, healthcare workers say not all patients being tested for respiratory illness
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Good morning,

As a health reporter, I’m not sure how many more times I can hear or write the words "impending collapse" in reference to our healthcare systems before the "impending" part becomes obsolete.

On top of the burnout faced by healthcare workers on the frontlines and chronic understaffing due to labour shortages and illnesses, we now have a triple-threat respiratory virus season wreaking havoc on hospitals—particularly in pediatric units. Amidst all this, the province’s public health officials are, once again, not being entirely honest about the information they share. Find the latest on the current healthcare crisis below.

-Brishti, reporter

☀️ Today's Weather: Sunny with a high of 11 and low of 2

📸 : BC Government / Flickr


Province quietly removes self-isolation requirement

Since the start of the pandemic, anyone positive for COVID-19 has been obligated by the province to isolate from others until they’re better. That requirement was quietly lifted as of Thursday.

In a press conference on Wednesday, which lasted more than an hour, the change was briefly mentioned just once, and, in a departure from the province’s usual procedure when changing public health orders, the removal of the self-isolation requirement was not mentioned in any specific communication. No media reported the change prior to our story Friday, suggesting the change was not widely understood.

Frontline healthcare workers deny BC’s claim that all patients tested for respiratory illness

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix said they used data from BC hospitals to create charts that showed how the common cold and influenza are causing more severe illnesses than COVID-19 and RSV.

In answer to Capital Daily’s questions, public health officials said that all hospital patients with respiratory symptoms are tested to determine which illness they have—this data, they said, was used to create the charts shared on Wednesday.

Multiple frontline healthcare workers were baffled by this statement, and told us that guidelines do not require them to test all patients—in fact, most are not tested.

"It's misleading and dishonest for public health to present prevalence rates and case numbers as accurate when the majority of sick kids don't ever get tested,"said a lab technician at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Read the full story by Brishti Basu

Capital Bulletin

🏥 Operating hours reduced at Ladysmith Community Health Centre urgent care. The clinic will be open Nov. 19 from 7:30am-10:30pm and Nov. 20 7:30am-8pm.

🏛 Restorative Justice Victoria launches annual fundraiser. Until Dec. 2, bid on items like Ballet Victoria tickets or a night in a luxury suite via the online silent auction to support this local community justice program.

A noise map of Thetis Vale shows many homes are in bright red areas—the loudest. 📸 :


View Royal mayor supports noise barrier between highway and Thetis Vale neighbourhood

Traffic on the Trans Canada Highway rushes by the homes in Thetis Vale at 90km/h or more, day and night. Some of the homes are within 50m of the highway—with just a flimsy, porous snow fence-like material standing between the homes and the din from the cars and trucks heading in and out of Victoria.

Cement barriers dampen some of the noise along much of the highway; now the residents of Thetis Vale are asking for the same.

"All we’re asking for is the same treatment that other communities receive," said Ryan Painter, who lives in the area. Painter is gathering signatures to bring to his MLA, Mitzi Dean, asking for a buffer.

An online petition has 127 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon, but the standards of the Legislative Assembly call for physical signatures. So Painter has set about gathering those.

"What we really did was try to create some energy and buzz around what we’re doing here," he said.

The neighbours have support from their new leadership too. The issue was referred to a council committee on Tuesday and Mayor Sid Tobias is writing a letter to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure with hopes to partner on a solution.

"I’m very, very supportive of the action," Tobias said. "Traffic has increased and will likely continue to increase on the highway so we’re looking at, how do we best mitigate that?"

Tobias said he’s been in contact with Langford’s new mayor Scott Goodmanson on the subject too. The booming residential development of the neighbouring municipality has seen several residential areas developed in close range of the busy highway.

"We’ve got some common concerns," Tobias said. "It’s not finger-pointing, it’s just, how do we work to make it better?"

"The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are certainly in the driver’s seat…but we are more than willing to partner with them on solutions."

A noise map of Thetis Vale from the real estate website shows many homes are in bright red areas—the loudest—while others are coloured yellow for their moderate noise levels.

Areas farther into town, such as near Admirals Road where there are cement barriers, show a marked decrease in noise away from the highway.

A spokesperson for Mitzi Dean confirmed that the MLA will be presenting the petition in the Legislature next week.

By Jimmy Thomson and Nina Grossman


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Capital Picks

🎨 Rock Bay Square Arts & Industry Open House: Today from 11-6, the tenants of Rock Bay Square (2614 Bridge St.), who are all artists and makers, will open their studios to the public for shopping and art viewing. Admission is free.

💜 Compassionate personal home care: From help with homemaking and errands to complex care, CommunityPlus experienced caregivers are ready to serve with empathy and integrity.*

🍿 Free movie morning: Cineplex theatres across Canada are offering free movies today. Showings on a limited run of films will be available 9am-11am at the downtown Cineplex Odeon, Cineplex Odeon Westshore Cinemas and SilverCity at Tillicum Centre.

🎭  A dark comedy: The Belfry Theatre has begun showings of its latest production, Vigil, by Morris Panych. The play first premiered at the Belfry in 1995 and has since been produced around the world. Vigil is on from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15. Tickets for purchase online.

😥 Are you feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Book your free consultation now with one of the trauma-informed therapists at Beacon Wellness.*
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💝 Help us help local children this holiday season
For the third year in a row, Capital Daily and United Way Southern Vancouver Island are raising funds for vital Greater Victoria community programs. This year, your donations will support early childhood education, giving our local children the building blocks to succeed.

We are hoping to raise $200,000 this year, which can help 1 in 4 local young children and their families. Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by generous local business partners. Donate today and invest in the future of our city and region!

Capital Daily Holiday Drive

In Other News

🎨 People who bought Beyond Van Gogh tickets can’t get their money back: CHEK News reported that many customers are having issues receiving refunds after the immersive Van Gogh experience, which was supposed to open Oct. 25, was cancelled.

🖋 From tech writer to premier: CBC News covered new premier David Eby’s path from Kitchener, Ont. to BC premier. Eby was sworn in on Friday in Vancouver.

🚔 The problem with police at mental health calls: Vancouver’s new mayor wants to hire 100 new police officers, but advocates say its the wrong approach. Similar to discussions about policing and the incoming PACT teams for Victoria, The Tyee looked at the role of police when responding to people in crisis.

Victoria Foundation

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Exploring the meaning of community

What does community mean to people living in Greater Victoria? Read Victoria’s Vital Signs feature article and see what people had to say.

In Case You Missed It

🏥 The pediatric ICU at Victoria General Hospital was at capacity overnight Monday though no admitted patients were sent to Vancouver: Read Capital Daily’s updated story on respiratory illnesses in the region.

☁️ Sleep in a cloud this winter. Get an organic mattress protector and personalized pillows (up to $900 value) with every latex mattress purchased at Resthouse in November. Book your fitting today.*

🚗 Ride-hailing company begins operations at YYJ: Richmond-based company KABU started serving customers at the Victoria International Airport last week. The Victoria-area service extends from Langford to downtown Victoria and up to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal.

🥳 Colourful Business 2022: Come and join this amazing expo of diverse businesses and spectacular live performances on Sat., Nov. 26 at the Victoria Conference Centre. Bring your family and friends! FREE admission.*
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