COVID-19 in B.C.: 16 deaths; hospitalizations increase; new healthcare outbreaks; 32 flights with exposures; and more

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      For the first time in weeks, the number of active cases decreased—and quite significantly.

      However, there were a large number of deaths reported, primarily in Interior Health and partially owing to a delayed data update, and there has also been an increase in hospitalizations, particularly notable in intensive care unit admissions.

      In addition, B.C. hit a new high for new cases in recent weeks, and there were some new healthcare outbreaks.

      Earlier today, B.C. provincial health officer, along with Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix, announced new health measures. A B.C. Vaccine Card will be required for entry to social and recreational events and businesses, including restaurants, nightclubs, arts and music performances, fitness centres, sports events, indoor organized events, and more. For full details, see this article

      Horgan also stated that Step 4 of the B.C. Restart Plan, which was slated to begin on September 7 at the earliest, will most likely be postponed due to current case numbers. 

      B.C. update: August 20 to 23

      Over a three-day period, B.C. is reporting 1,711 new COVID-19 cases (including three epi-linked cases). By date, the total includes:

      • August 20 to 21: 724 new cases (which surpasses the previous recent high of 717 new cases on August 13);
      • August 21 to 22: 545 new cases;
      • August 22 to 23: 442 new cases.

      Currently, there are 5,056 active cases, which is a decrease of 1,289 cases since August 20. 

      The new and active cases include:

      • 768 new cases in Interior Health, with 1,930 total active cases;
      • 419 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,194 total active cases;
      • 290 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 1,223 total active cases;
      • 100 new cases in Northern Health, with 298 total active cases;
      • 133 new cases in Island Health, with 401 total active cases;
      • one new case of a person who resides outside of Canada, with 10 total active cases.

      With four more people in hospitals since August 20, 133 individuals are now in hospital and 80 of those patients are in intensive care units, which is an increase of 21 cases since August 20.

      Over the past three time periods, there were 16 new deaths reported, including:

      • 14 in Interior Health (the B.C. Health Ministry stated that this number includes updated reporting of deaths from August 1 but did not specify how many);
      • one in Fraser Health;
      • one in Island Health.

      An overall total of 1,801 people have now died of COVID-19-related reasons in B.C.

      With 2,970 recoveries over the weekend, an overall total of 153,627 people have now recovered.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has a reported a cumulative total of 160,630 cases.


      The B.C. Health Ministry had added information to their daily updates about what percentage of cases are among those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.

      From August 10 to 17, fully vaccinated individuals comprised 13 percent of cases and 11 percent of hospitalizations.

      For cases from August 11 to 17, there were:

      • 2,620 unvaccinated cases (71 percent);
      • 583 partially vaccinated cases (16 percent);
      • 498 fully vaccinated cases (13 percent).

      For hospitalizations, from August 10 to 16:

      • 95 unvaccinated cases (84 percent);
      • six partially vaccinated (five percent);
      • 12 fully vaccinated (11 percent).

      Since December, B.C. has administered 7,336,798 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 83.2 percent (3,856,248) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 74.9 percent (3,473,215) received their second dose.

      In addition, 84 percent (3,631,656) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 76.1 percent (3,292,549) received their second dose.

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

      Outbreaks and exposures

      New healthcare facility outbreaks have been declared at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock in Fraser Health (previously announced on August 20); and Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna and Hardy View Lodge in Grand Forks, both in Interior Health.

      Today, Fraser Health declared the outbreak at Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock to be over.

      Currently, there are 13 active healthcare outbreaks, including:

      • longterm care: Heritage Village and Kin Village West Court in Fraser Health; Village at Mill Creek, Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre, and Brookhaven Care Centre in Interior Health;
      • acute care: Peace Arch Hospital (Fraser Health);
      • assisted or independent living: Nicola Meadows, Hawthorn Park, David Lloyd, Sun Pointe Village and Hardy View Lodge (Interior Health).

      Sobeys has listed two Safeway stores with staff members who tested positive:

      • one employee, who last worked on August 8, at 3410 Kingsway Street in Vancouver;
      • two employees, who last worked on August 16 and 17, at 1780 East Broadway in Vancouver, where a third employee had previously been reported as testing positive.

      McDonald’s listed the 1405 Cranbrook Street North location in Cranbrook as having one employee, who last worked on August 18, who tested positive.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following 32 flights to its lists of potential public exposures (affected flight information is listed at the BCCDC website when available):

      • August 9: WestJet380, Abbotsford to Calgary;
      • August 11: WestJet173, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • August 11: Air Canada 114, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 12: Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver;
      • August 13: Flair 385, Vancouver to Ottawa;
      • August 13: Air Canada 238, Vancouver to Edmonton;
      • August 13: Air Canada 103, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • August 13: Flair 224, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 15: Air Canada 220, Vancouver to Calgary;
      • August 15: Air Canada 102, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 15: Air Canada/Jazz 8419, Kelowna to Vancouver;
      • August 15: Air Canada/Jazz 8094, Seattle to Vancouver;
      • August 15: Swoop 411, Toronto to Kelowna;
      • August 16: Swoop 128, Abbotsford to Hamilton;
      • August 16: WestJet 705, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • August 16: Air Canada 3, Vancouver to Tokyo;
      • August 16: Air Canada 116, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 16: Air Canada 861, London to Vancouver;
      • August 16: Air Canada/Jazz8411, Kelowna to Vancouver;
      • August 16: WestJet705, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • August 16: Flair 224, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 17: Air Canada 235, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • August 17: United Airlines 5689, San Francisco to Vancouver;
      • August 17: WestJet 724, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 18: Air Canada 556, Vancouver to Los Angeles;
      • August 18: Air North 510, Kelowna to Vancouver;
      • August 18: Air Canada 4, Tokyo to Vancouver;
      • August 18: Air Canada 186, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 18: Air Canada/Jazz8404, Kelowna to Calgary;
      • August 18: WestJet380, Abbotsford to Calgary;
      • August 18: WestJet162, Vancouver to Edmonton;
      • August 21: Flair Airlines 8601, Abbotsford to Calgary. 
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.