COVID-19 in B.C.: New cases over 1,000 again; number of monitored people surges over 14,000; and more

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      Once again, B.C. has reported a new case count over 1,000 cases. It’s close to the record high of 1,077 new cases on April 3.

      In addition, the number of people under surveillance from public health (for exposures to confirmed cases) has suddenly surged by over two thousand.

      In a briefing from Vancouver, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that in February and March, the numbers of active cases and contacts remained relatively level but have dramatically increased over the past two weeks.

      She said that people are having higher numbers of contacts and that much of the transmission is taking place among younger people, which are increasing in hospitalized cases and patients in intensive care units.

      Henry provided some details about the variants (see below). She added that disregard for provincial health precautions, including unnecessary travel and social gatherings, are driving increased transmission, particularly among younger age groups.

      Also, the B.C. online registration and booking system for vaccination is now available for everyone (see details below).

      B.C. update: April 6

      Henry announced that there are 1,068 new cases (including 33 epi-linked cases) today.

      By region, that includes:

      • 492 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 352 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 106 in Interior Health;
      • 73 in Island Health;
      • 43 in Northern Health;
      • two people from outside of Canada.

      As of today, there are 328 hospitalized cases (10 more cases since yesterday), with 96 of those patients in intensive care units (same number as yesterday).

      Currently, there are 8,671 active cases—an increase of 181 cases since yesterday.

      Surprisingly, the number of people that public health is monitoring for exposures to identified cases has surged by 2,129 people since yesterday to a total of 14,118 people today.

      Sadly, there are three new COVID-19-related deaths (two in Vancouver Coastal Health and one in Island Health). That brings the total number of fatalities during the pandemic to 1,489 people who have died.

      A cumulative total of 95,691 people have now recovered.

      B.C. has recorded a total of 105,988 cases during the pandemic.

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix
      Province of British Columbia

      Variants and vaccinations

      Henry said there are 207 new variant cases, and that all of them are in Vancouver Coastal Health except for one in Fraser Health.

      That brings the cumulative total to 3,766 cases, which includes:

      • 2,838 of the B117 (U.K.) variant;
      • 877 of the P1 (Brazil) variant;
      • 51 of the B1351 (South Africa) variant.

      By region, that includes:

      • 2,550 cases in Fraser Health;
      • 1,128 in Vancouver Coastal Health, which Henry said has mostly had the P1 variant (including 197 cases in Whistler);
      • 103 in Interior Health;
      • 20 in Island Health;
      • 15 in Northern Health.

      Currently, 266 are active cases (three percent of all active cases). Of those, 106 are P1 variant cases.

      In addition, 63 variant cases are in hospital. Of those hospitalized cases, 42 patients have the B117 (U.K.) variant, 20 have the P1 (Brazil) variant, and one has the B1351 (South Africa) variant).

      Henry said that the B117 variant is currently dominant variant. She also pointed out that there is a time delay before variant cases can be identified.

      There was a one contained cluster of P1 variant in Vancouver in February, Henry said, followed by several introductions of this variant in Vancouver and Whistler, which involved several chains of transmission, in mid- to late February, particularly among young people, workers, and visitors to Whistler.

      She said that public health thinks these P1 cases peaked in B.C. in the week of March 22.

      As of today, 912,056 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., and 87,474 of those are second doses.

      B.C. has launched the Get Vaccinated online vaccine registration and booking system, which allows everyone to register and then later book their appointment online when notified when you are eligible to do so.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      The good news is that there aren’t any new healthcare or community outbreaks. In addition, none of the five regional health authorities listed any new public exposure events.

      Currently, there are 12 active outbreaks in healthcare facilities. That includes three in longterm care facilities and nine in acute care facilities.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following nine flights to its lists of public exposures:

      • March 26: Sunwing 2860, Mexico City to Vancouver;
      • March 27: Air Canada 115, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • March 30: Air Canada 306, Vancouver to Montreal;
      • March 31: Air Canada 306, Vancouver to Montreal;
      • March 31: United Airlines 5689, San Francisco to Vancouver;
      • April 1: Air Canada 215, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • April 1: Air Canada 223, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • April 1: Air Canada 8079, Vancouver to Victoria;
      • April 2: Flair Airlines 8821, Calgary to Vancouver.

      Affected row information is available at the BCCDC website.

      Sobeys listed two locations of FreshCo with staff members who tested positive:

      • one employee who last worked on March 2 at 100–10151 No. 3 Road in Richmond;
      • an employee who last worked on March 3 at 3417 30th Avenue in Vernon.

      Loblaw added three Real Canadian Superstore locations with staff members who tested positive:

      • three employees who last worked on March 22 and 31 at 14650 104th Avenue in Surrey;
      • one employee who last worked on March 27 at 3185 Grandview Highway in Vancouver;
      • two employees who last worked on March 27 and 31 at 2155 Ferry Avenue in Prince George.

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