COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 80 new cases again, more flights and bars with confirmed cases

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      While B.C. has managed to keep the number of COVID-19-related fatalities low, the new case counts have been much larger than previous months. Today’s new COVID-19 case count for B.C. has approximated a recent high number for the past few months.

      Meanwhile, more flights have been confirmed with cases, and another nightlife venue in Vancouver has confirmed a case at its premises.

      Daily update: August 14

      B.C. provincial health officer and Health Minister Adrian Dix issued a joint statement for today's B.C. COVID-19 update.

      Today, B.C. announced 84 new cases, which is up from 78 cases yesterday (August 13), and almost the same as the recent record high of 85 cases on August 12.

      Over the course of the pandemic, there has been a total of 4,358 cases in B.C. (including two epi-linked cases). That includes 1,354 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health; 2,276 in Fraser Health; 150 in Island Health region; 399 in Interior Health; 107 in Northern Health; and 72 cases of people who live outside Canada.

      Currently, there are 629 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.

      The number of people in hospital has increase from nine cases yesterday to 12 people today (four of those patients are in intensive care units—the same number as yesterday).

      The number of people who are now under active public-health monitoring due to identified exposure to known cases has grown from 1,878 to 2,026 individuals—an increase of 148 cases.

      Unfortunately, there is one new healthcare outbreak in Fraser Health at the Queen’s Park Care Centre in New Westminster. Consequently, there are now active outbreaks in seven longterm care facilities and two acute-care units.

      There aren’t any new community outbreaks but community exposure events continue to occur.

      The good news is that there aren’t any new deaths. The total fatalities in the province remains at 196 deaths.

      A total of 3,533 people have now recovered.

      B.C. Centre for Disease Control

      According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the weekly total number of cases from August 7 to 13 has risen by 36 percent this week compared to the previous week: up from 290 cases last week to 393 cases this week (an increase of 103 cases).

      Of the new cases over the past week, there were:

      • 163 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 197 in Fraser Health;
      • 13 in Interior Health;
      • 4 in Island Health;
      • 13 in Northern Health.

      The largest increases have been among those in the 20 to 39 years old age group, and there have been six outbreaks reported over the past week.

      There was only one death in the province (in Vancouver Coastal Health) over the past week.

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

      Community exposure incidents

      Nightlife venues, parties, and various social spots have continued to be sites of potential transmission, and some have been closed down as a result.

      "In the Vancouver Coastal Health region, ongoing surveillance and enforcement operations have resulted in the closure of several bars, restaurants, and nightclubs following transmission events: some by public health order and others voluntarily,” Henry and Dix stated in today’s news release.

      Dix had warned on August 13 that health regulations for parties would be inspected and enforced this weekend.

      Score on Davie (1262 Davie Street) in Vancouver's West End announced that a potential COVID-19 exposure incident took place from around 10:30 p.m. on August 10 to around 1:30 a.m. on August 11. They stated that no staff have been affected yet.

      This Davie Village sports bar is voluntarily closing today (August 14) until further notice while contact tracing is underway.

      Score on Davie

      Meanwhile, CTV News reported on a video released that showed partiers dancing, which is not permitted, while ignoring physical distancing and other health precautions at Levels Nightclub in Downtown Vancouver on August 6.

      On August 12, Vancouver Coastal Health had added Levels Nightclub to a list of potential sites with COVID-19 exposure incidents, listing August 4 and 7.

      Levels Nightclub announced on August 13 that it would close for the weekend to implement safety measures.

      Other nightclubs with recent potential exposure events include Ivy Lounge at Trump Tower Vancouver, Pierre's Champagne Lounge, and PumpJack.

      As previously reported, B.C. has begun to embark upon new strategies to reach young adults and partying issues, involving social influencers and celebrities. 

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

      Air travel

      Another source of concern has been flights bringing cases into B.C and, once again, more flights have been confirmed with COVID-19.

      On Aeromexico flight 696 from Mexico City to Vancouver on July 30, anyone seated in rows 21 to 27 were potentially affected.

      On August 3, rows 1 to 7 on Swoop flight 235 from Edmonton to Abbotsford may have been affected.

      Then on August 7, rows 5 to 11 on WestJet flight 461 from Calgary to Kelowna may have been affected.

      Anyone on these flights should monitor themselves for 14 days after the flight date and reduce interactions with other people. Meanwhile, anyone who does develop symptoms should isolate themselves immediately while contacting 811 for testing.

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