COVID-19 in B.C.: Exposure incidents at food and retail locations, The Good Doctor suspends production

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      At the last two B.C. COVID-19 updates that B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix  held in person, both had expressed their concerns about the rising case numbers in B.C. and urged everyone to practice health precautions.

      However, that hasn’t stopped the new case numbers from continuing to remain at high levels.

      In addition, several public COVID-19 exposure incidents have taken place in the Lower Mainland and Interior B.C. at food and beverage establishments and a retail outlet.

      Daily update: August 11

      Henry and Dix issued a joint statement for today’s B.C. COVID-19 update.

      B.C. confirmed 46 new cases in the province.

      At the moment, there are 472 active cases. Eight people are in hospital, and five of those patients are in intensive care.

      Of the cumulative total number of 4,111  cases during the pandemic, there have been 1,232 in Vancouver Coastal Health; 2,167 in Fraser Health; 148 in Island Health; 393 in Interior Health; 100 in Northern Health; and 71 cases of people who live outside Canada.

      Without any new healthcare outbreaks, there remain eight active outbreaks in healthcare facilities, with seven in longterm care facilities and one in an acute care unit.

      In addition, there aren’t any new community outbreaks, and the outbreak at the Krazy Cherry Fruit Company in Oliver has been declared over.

      Once again, there aren’t any new deaths, making this the 11th consecutive day without a COVID-19-related death. A total of 195 people have died during the pandemic.

      A total of 3,444 people (84 percent) have now recovered.

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
      Province of British Columbia

      Community exposure incidents

      Several health authorities are reporting public COVID-19 exposure events that have taken place at several popular food and drink or retail businesses.

      Vancouver Coastal Health has listed a downtown location of Foot Locker (919 Robson Street) as having a potential exposure incident on August 4 and 5 during operating hours.

      Interior Health issued a public notification today that anyone who was at the bar at Cactus Club (1–1370 Water Street) in Kelowna may have been exposed to COVID-19. Contract tracing is underway.

      Interior Health stated that there have been 161 cases linked to Kelowna since June 26. Of these cases, 12 are currently active and are in isolation.

      As the number of cases are stabilizing, Interior Health also stated that a temporary testing site at the Community Health Services Centre is being suspended as of today. However, the Testing and Assessment Centre will continue to offer testing by appointment at the Kelowna Urgent and Primary Care Centre (1141 Harvey Avenue).

      Meanwhile, Fraser Health has added two food and beverage establishments to its public exposure list.

      One potential exposure incident took place at the Taphouse Coquitlam (2–402 North Road) from 9 p.m. on August 1 to 2 a.m. on August 2.

      The second occurred at Charlie Hamiltons Pub (1031–1163 Pinetree Way, facing Lincoln Avenue) from 7 to 9 p.m. on August 4.

      Anyone who was at these locations during the specified dates should reduce contact with others and monitor themselves for 14 days after the date of visit. Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately self-isolate and call 811 to arrange for testing.

      The Good Doctor

      B.C. screen industry

      While film and TV productions have been resuming work across the province with new health measures in place, one production—a medical drama, no less—has been suspended due to a dispute.

      CTV News reported that filming for Season 4 of ABC’s The Good Doctor was slated to resume on August 10 but was called off due to a disagreement between the production company, Sony Pictures Television which wants more frequent testing, and the B.C. Council of Film Unions, which is going by provincial guidelines.

      When the province’s own good doctor was asked about this issue at the daily B.C. update on August 10, Henry had said that there are very "delicate negotiations” between the union and the production company.

      "We have parameters that we have in place to keep workers safe, and WorkSafeBC has very detailed perimeters for productions like this one and we expect those to be adhered to," Henry had stated at the briefing.

      Henry has also explained several times that testing for people with symptoms is problematic and not effective as the test produces erroneous results for those who do not have symptoms, which also impacts public health teams.

      The Good Doctor, starring Freddie Highmore as a talented doctor with autism, is executive produced by actor Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-O), who announced on March 19 that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and later recovered by the end of the month.

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