COVID-19 in B.C.: Sudden surge in vaccinations; almost 700 new cases; two new healthcare outbreaks; and more

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      B.C.'s new case count neared 700 COVID-19 cases today while active cases remained level with yesterday.

      Restrictions and health measures previously implemented in response to the Central Okanagan outbreak appear to be having some effect. Active cases numbers in the Interior Health region dropped over the weekend, and although they resumed rising earlier this week, today they sank once again.

      Unfortunately, there are two new healthcare outbreaks, as well as 14 flights listed with potential exposures.

      There’s also some news on the vaccination front.

      Vaccinations increase

      In the wake of the province announcing its new B.C. Vaccine Card program that will be required for entry to non-essential social and recreational events and businesses, the B.C. Health Ministry has reported a surge in vaccinations this week, particularly among those under 40 years of age.

      On Monday (August 23), there were 8,909 new registrations and 7,347 new appointment bookings, which is a 174.8 percent increase in daily registrations and an 88.6 percent daily increase compared to the previous Monday (which had 3,242 new registrations and 3,896 bookings).

      Then on Tuesday (August 24), there were 10,175 total new registrations and 9,486 new appointment bookings, which is a 201.3 percent increase in registrations and a 124.4 percent increase in bookings compared to the previous Tuesday (which had 3,279 new registrations and 4,228 appointment bookings).

      Over the past two days, 12,904 people under the age of 40 registered for vaccinations, and 11,301 people under 40 have booked appointments.

      In comparison, there were 4,161 registrations and 5,077 appointment bookings for people under 40 during the same period last week.

      The B.C. Vaccine Card will begin on September 13 when proof of one dose will be required for access to a list of settings, followed by two doses required by October 24.

      The list includes nightclubs and casinos; restaurants; indoor arts, music, and sporting events; movie theatres; fitness facilities; and more.

      B.C. update: August 25

      Today, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 698 new COVID-19 cases (including five epi-linked cases).

      Currently, there are 5,356 active cases, which is only one fewer case than yesterday.

      The new and active cases include:

      • 252 new cases in Interior Health, with 1,911 total active cases (a decrease of 143 cases since yesterday);
      • 203 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,294 total active cases;
      • 129 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 1,347 total active cases;
      • 69 new cases in Island Health, with 470 total active cases;
      • 45 new cases in Northern Health, with 322 total active cases;
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 12 total active cases.

      As of today, 139 individuals are in hospital (one more person than yesterday) and 75 of those patients are in intensive care units (three fewer than yesterday).

      A total of 154,669 people have now recovered, which includes 702 recoveries since yesterday.

      Unfortunately, there was one new death reported (in Fraser Health), which brings the overall total fatalities to 1,802 people who have died of COVID-19-related reasons.

      B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 161,969 COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.

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


      From August 10 to 23, people who aren’t fully vaccinated accounted for 83.3 percent of COVID-19 cases and 85 percent of hospitalizations.

      Of the cases on August 23, there were:

      • 372 unvaccinated people (68.4 percent);
      • 53 partially vaccinated (9.7 percent);
      • 119 fully vaccinated (21.9 percent).

      Among COVID-19 cases from August 17 to 23, there were:

      • 3,051 unvaccinated people (66.8 percent);
      • 535 partially vaccinated (16.5 percent);
      • 752 fully vaccinated (16.6 percent).

      Among hospitalizations from August 10 to 23:

      • 144 unvaccinated (77 percent);
      • 15 partially vaccinated (8 percent);
      • 28 fully vaccinated (15 percent).

      Since December, B.C. has administered 7,369,741 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 83.5 percent (3,869,329) of eligible people 12 and older have received their first dose and 75.4 percent (3,493,119) received their second dose.

      In addition, 84.2 percent (3,642,878) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 76.5 percent (3,308,987) received their second dose.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      None of the five regional health authorities listed any new community outbreaks, business closures, or public exposure events.

      However, there are two new healthcare facility outbreaks.

      Vancouver Coastal Health declared an outbreak at St. Vincent’s Brock Fahrni Pavilion, where restrictions were imposed on August 24 on the third floor.

      Meanwhile, Interior Health declared an outbreak is at the Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna.

      Currently, there are 14 active outbreaks in healthcare facilities, including:

      • longterm care: Heritage Village (Fraser Health); Brock Fahrni (Vancouver Coastal Health); Village at Mill Creek, Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre, Brookhaven Care Centre, and Spring Valley Care Centre (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).

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following 14 flights to its lists of possible public exposures (affected row information is listed at the BCCDC website when available):

      • August 12: WestJet Flight 3293, Calgary to Kelowna;
      • August 13: Air Canada Flight 184, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 16: Air Canada/Jazz Flight 2262, Vancouver to Fort St. John;
      • August 17: WestJet Flight 135, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • August 20: WestJet Flight 360, Vancouver to Winnipeg;
      • August 21: Air Canada/Jazz Flight 8184, Fort St. John to Vancouver;
      • August 21: Air Canada/Jazz Flight 8571, Regina to Vancouver;
      • August 21: Lufthansa Flight 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
      • August 21: Swoop Flight 208, Abbotsford to Edmonton;
      • August 22: Air Canada Flight 126, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • August 22: Air Canada/Jazz Flight 8062, Victoria to Vancouver;
      • August 22: Air Canada/Jazz Flight 8470, Vancouver to Edmonton;
      • August 22: WestJet Flight 196, Victoria to Calgary;
      • August 22: WestJet Flight 542, Vancouver to Montreal.

      Sobeys listed one employee, who last worked on August 21, at the Safeway store located at 1100–2850 Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam has tested positive.

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