COVID-19 in B.C.: Hospitalized cases exceed 450; Fraser Health vaccinations in high-risk areas; and more

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      Active cases and the number of monitored people have been decreasing in recent days.

      Unfortunately, the number of hospitalized continue to rise.

      The more cases there are in hospitals, the greater the chance that those seeking medical treatment for reasons other than COVID-19 will also be impacted as the healthcare system including medical services and staff, becomes increasingly stretched thin.

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Premier John Horgan all presented information at yesterday’s briefing about concerns about the high level of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

      Meanwhile, immunizations are expanding in specific neighbourhoods with high levels of transmission in Fraser Health.

      B.C. update: April 20

      Henry and Dix stated, in a joint release, that there are 849 new cases in B.C. today.

      By region, today’s total includes:

      • 474 new cases in Fraser Health (56 percent);
      • 247 in Vancouver Coastal Health (29 percent);
      • 67 in Interior Health (eight percent);
      • 31 in Northern Health (four percent);
      • 29 in Island Health (three percent);
      • one person from outside of Canada (less than one percent).

      For another consecutive day, the number of active cases has continued to decline. With a decrease of 208 cases, there are currently 9,145 active cases.

      However, hospitalized cases continue to climb. An increase of 15 more people since yesterday brings the current total to 456 individuals in hospitals, and 148 of whom are in intensive care (10 more than yesterday).

      Public health is monitoring 13,679 people due to exposure to identified cases, which is a decrease of 1,032 people since yesterday.

      Sadly, there is one new COVID-19-related death, which brings the cumulative total fatalities to 1,539 people who have died during the pandemic.

      A cumulative total of 109,973 people have now recovered, which includes 1,054 recoveries since yesterday.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a total of 120,889 cases, which includes (by region):

      • 69,133 cases in Fraser Health;
      • 30,106 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 10,228 in Interior Health;
      • 6,869 in Northern Health;
      • 4,370 in Island Health;
      • 183 people from outside Canada.

      Variants and vaccinations

      As of today, B.C. has 6,179 variant cases, and 163 of those are active cases.

      This total includes:

      • 4,041 cases of the B117 (U.K.) variant;
      • 2,062 cases of the P1 (Brazil) variant;
      • 76 cases of the B1351 (South Africa) variant.

      As of today, 1,414,644 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII vaccines have been administered, and 88,263 of those are second doses.

      Fraser Health is now immunizing people who are 40 years and above in specific neighbourhoods with high rates of transmission, including:

      • Surrey: West Newton, East Newton, Whalley, Panorama, North Surrey, Fleetwood
      • North Delta
      • Port Coquitlam
      • South Langley township
      • West Abbotsford

      Anyone in these neighbourhoods can register online and will be contacted for vaccinations.

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
      Province of British Columbia

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Henry and Dix said in their statement that the outbreak at Longlake Chateau in Nanaimo, which was declared on March 25, is now over.

      Today, Fraser Health declared an outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital, where five patients have tested positive. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions, and the rest of the hospital remains unaffected. 

      Also, Northern Health has declared an outbreak at the medical inpatient unit at Dawson Creek and District Hospital, where two patients have tested positive. 

      McDonald’s listed 21558 Fraser Highway in Langley as having an employee who tested positive on April 17.

      Sobeys stated that an employee who tested positive last worked on April 17 at the Safeway located at 6401 120th Street in Delta.

      Loblaw listed two Real Canadian Superstore locations which had staff members who tested positive:

      • one employee who last worked on April 13 at 3000 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam;
      • four employees who last worked on April 11, 13, and 16 at 2332 160th Street in Surrey.

      Workplace closures

      Interior, Northern, and Island Health didn’t list any new workplace closures.
      The Vancouver Coastal Health website is not currently available.

      Fraser Health closed G Force Gym (2110–550 Sherling Avenue) in Port Coquitlam as being on April 19.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.