COVID-19 in B.C.: While case numbers level off, more restaurants, bars, and flights confirm cases

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      After constantly increasing COVID-19 cases in B.C., today’s numbers in almost all categories appeared to show some signs of levelling off, as numbers remained either about the same as yesterday or decreased.

      Meanwhile, exposure incidents have been reported in restaurants, cafés, bars, and grocery stores in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island and on flights.

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

      Daily update: August 26

      For today’s update, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix issued a joint statement.

      They stated that there are 62 new cases (including two epi-linked cases) in the province, which is close to yesterday’s count of 58 new cases.

      The number of active cases has decreased by 29 cases from 925 to 896 individuals.

      Meanwhile, the number of cases in hospital decreased by one to 21 individuals in hospital (seven of those patients are in intensive care—the same number as yesterday).

      One area of increase is the number of people being monitored by public health after exposure to confirmed cases—rising from 2,675 people yesterday to 2,730 people today, which is a difference of 55 individuals.

      After two healthcare outbreaks, there weren’t any new outbreaks announced today, leaving active outbreaks in 10 longterm care facilities and two acute care units.

      Once again, there aren’t any new deaths—the total number of fatalities remains at 203 people who have died during the pandemic.

      B.C.’s total number of cases during the pandemic is now at 5,304 cases.

      So far, here there have been 1,699 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health; 2,795 in Fraser Health; 170 in Island Health; 429 in Interior Health; 133 in Northern Health; and 78 cases among people who live outside Canada.

      A total of 4,199 people are now fully recovered.

      Banter Room

      Restaurants, bars, and grocery stores

      Vancouver Coastal Health has added two locations to its list of potential COVID-19 exposure sites.

      One location is the Fairview karaoke venue and restaurant Privé Kitchen and Bar (1001 West Broadway) in Fariview, during operating hours on August 3, 6, 7, 8, 15, 16, and 17.

      The other incident was during operating hours from August 20 to 22 at the Banter Room (1039 Mainland Street) in Yaletown.

      Neither establishment have issued any statements yet about their response to these possible exposure events.  

      Also in the Lower Mainland, Loblaw stated today that an employee at the Real Canadian Superstore (8196 120th Street) in Delta, who last worked at the location on August 16, tested positive.

      Over on Vancouver Island, Island Health announced that there have been two potential low-risk COVID-19 exposure incidents in Sidney, B.C., which is part of Greater Victoria.

      The first incident took place at 10 Acres Café and Market at the Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa (9805 Seaport Place, not at the Pier Restaurant) in Sidney from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 20 and 21.

      A staff member tested positive and 10 Acres stated that there isn't any crossover with their downtown restaurants, the Commons and 10 Acres Bistro. As a precaution, 10 Acres Café and Market and 10 Acres at the Pier were closed for sanitization. Staff members who interacted with the individual went into self-isolation and have been tested, according to the establishment.

      After being approved for reopening, 10 Acres at the Pier will reopen tomorrow (August 27) while the café will follow on the weekend.

      The second incident was at Mary’s Bleue Moon Café (9535 Canora Road) in Sidney from 4 to 9:15 p.m. on August 21 and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 5 to 10 p.m. on August 22. The café voluntarily chose to close yesterday for cleaning and disinfection and will reopen on Friday (August 28)

      Anyone at these locations within the specified time frames should monitor themselves for 14 days after the date of visit while minimizing contact with others, and anyone who does develop symptoms should immediately self-isolate and call 811 to make arrangements for testing.


      Flights and ferries

      As of August 24, all passengers on B.C. Ferries are required to wear a mask while at terminals or on board ferries, unless inside a vehicle or consuming food or beverages while maintaining physical distancing from others.

      The following day (August 25), the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union issued a bulletin to its members that a ship crew member from Tsawwassen tested positive for COVID-19.

      The union said the individual last worked a shift last week but did not specify a date.

      Meanwhile, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has added five more flights (two domestic, three international) that have been connected to COVID-19.

      • Air India flight 1143 from Delhi, India, to Vancouver on August 12 (affected rows not reported);

      • WestJet flight 196 from Victoria to Calgary on August 14 (affected rows not reported);

      • Air Canada flight 106 from Vancouver to Toronto on August 17 (affected rows 20 to 26);

      • Air Canada 007 flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong on August 18 (affected rows 21 to 27);

      • KLM flight 681 from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Vancouver on August 21 (affected rows not reported).

      Anyone on these flights should monitor themselves for 14 days after the flight date while reducing interactions with others in person. If you do develop symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and, if you are in B.C., call 811 for testing.

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