COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 600 new cases, 40 schools with new exposures, and more

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      Some small potential signs may offer some hints of hope about the state of COVID-19 in British Columbia.

      Both active cases and the number of people public health is monitoring have decreased, and the number of new cases isn't quite as high as this past weekend.

      Unfortunately, the number of hospitalized cases continues to climb and even more concerning is that the number of deaths still remains high.

      There’s one new healthcare outbreak; two public exposure events; and four stores, four flights, and 40 schools with cases.

      B.C. update: December 1

      In a joint statement, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced there are 656 new cases (including three epi-linked cases) today.

      By region, that includes:

      • 408 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 140 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 83 in Interior Health;
      • 15 in the Northern Health;
      • 10 in Island Health;

      no cases among those from outside Canada.

      For the first time in a while, active cases have decreased.

      Currently, there are 8,796 active cases, which is 59 less cases than yesterday.

      Public health is monitoring 10,123 people (for exposure to confirmed cases), which is 16 less people than yesterday.

      However, hospitalized cases continue to increase.

      At the moment, there are 336 people in hospital (which is 20 more people than yesterday), with 76 of those patients in intensive care (which is one more than yesterday).

      The tragic news is that the death toll remains high.

      Today, Henry and Dix announced 16 new COVID-19-related deaths, which is one less than the record high of 17 deaths on November 29. The total number of fatalities is now at 457 people who have died in B.C.

      A total of 23,774 people have now recovered.

      B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 33,894 cases during the pandemic, which includes:

      • 21,478 cases in Fraser Health;
      • 8,990 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 1,833 in Interior Health;
      • 860 in Northern Health;
      • 639 in Island Health;
      • 94 people from outside Canada.
      The Harrison at Elim Village

      Outbreaks and exposures

      There is a new health-care facility outbreak at The Harrison at Elim Village (9025 160th Street) in Surrey.

      Meanwhile, the outbreaks at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver and Jackman Manor in Langley have been declared over.

      The good news is that there aren’t any new community outbreaks.

      Northern Health announced two potential exposure events, both in Fort St. James.

      One was at the Fort St. James Cold Weather Shelter (330 4th Avenue East) from November 12 to 25.

      The other was at the Key Resource Centre (360 Stuart Drive), also from November 12 to 25.

      Anyone who was at the shelter or centre should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days from the date of visit.

      Sobeys announced that an employee who has tested positive last worked on November 25 at the Safeway (8860 152nd Street) in Surrey.

      Loblaw announced two of its stores had staff members who tested positive.

      One was at the Real Canadian Superstore (19851 Willowbrook Drive) in Langley, where the employee last worked on November 18.

      The other location was at a Shoppers Drug Mart (7322 King George Boulevard) in Surrey, where three employees who tested positive last worked on November 19, 23, and 24.

      T&T Supermarket had reported yet another employee at its Coquitlam location (2740–2929 Barnet Highway) has tested positive. Previously, the store had staff members who tested positive, who last worked there on November 13, 15, 17, and 19. The store has now added November 21 as the last working date of the most recent employee to test positive.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added four flight to its lists of flights confirmed with COVID-19:

      • November 16: Swoop 207, Edmonton to Abbotsford;
      • November 17: Air Canada 202, Vancouver to Calgary;
      • November 17: Air Canada 225, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • November 23: WestJet 725, Toronto to Vancouver.

      For affected row information, visit the BCCDC website.

      Maple Green Elementary

      School exposures

      Once again, all five regional health authorities had schools with new exposure dates added. A total of 40 schools had new exposure events.

      Interior Health had one school with new dates. In Kelowna, Quigley Elementary School (705 Kitch Road), which previously had exposures from November 17 to 19 and from 23 to 25, added November 20.

      Island Health added one school: Alberni District Secondary School (4000 Roger Street) in Port Alberni—which had previous exposures from September 14 to 15 and 17 to 18; on September 22; and from November 12 to 13—added November 27.

      Northern Health

      Northern Health added four schools with new exposure dates.

      In Charlie Lake, Charlie Lake Elementary School (2655 Charlie Lake Frontage Road), which previously had exposures from November 23 to 24, has added an exposure event from November 16 to 26.

      In Fort St. James, Nak’albun Elementary School (1180 Lakeshore Drive), which had previous exposure dates from September 16 to 18, has added November 22 to 25.

      In Fort St. John, North Peace Secondary School (9304 86th Street)—which previously had exposures on November 10, 12, 13, 16, 19, and 20—added November 24 to 26.

      In Prince George, Sacred Heart Elementary School (785 Patricia Boulevard) had an exposure event from November 25 to 27.

      Steveston-London Secondary School

      Vancouver Coastal Health

      Vancouver Coastal Health had 11 schools with new exposure dates.

      Richmond had four schools with new exposures:

      • Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy (8580 No. 5 Road), which had a previous exposure on November 16, added November 25 to 26;
      • R.J. Tait Elementary School (10071 Finlayson Drive), which previously had an exposure on October 30, added November 18 to 19 and 23 to 24;
      • Steveston-London Secondary School (6600 Williams Road)—which previously had an exposure event from November 2 to 6, and on November 13—added November 24 to 26;
      • Hugh Boyd Secondary School (9200 No. 1 Road) had an exposure event from November 25 to 26.

      Five schools with new dates were in Vancouver: 

      • Thunderbird šxʷəxʷaʔəs Elementary School (2325 Cassiar Street) from November 25 to 26;
      • Walter Moberly Elementary School (1000 East 59th Avenue), which previously had exposures from November 9 to 10 and November 12 to 13, had new exposures from November 25 to 26;
      • Sir Wilfred Grenfell Elementary School (3323 Wellington Avenue) had exposures from November 17 to 20 and 23 to 26;
      • Templeton Secondary School (727 Templeton Drive), which previously had an exposure on November 16, added November 13, 17 to 20, and 23
      • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (2550 Camosun Street), which previously had an exposure event from October 19 to 22, added November 24 to 26.

      In North Vancouver, two schools had new dates:

      • École Windsor Secondary (931 Broadview Drive) had exposure events on November 23 and from November 25 to 27;
      • Handsworth Secondary School (1044 Edgewood Road)—which previously had exposures from October 13 to 14 and on October 20; and on November 16—had new exposures on November 26 and 27.
      Sardis Elementary

      Fraser Health

      Fraser Health had 23 schools that had new exposure events.

      In Abbotsford, two schools had new exposures:

      • Cornerstone Christian School (520–3970 Gladwin Road) had exposures from November 18 to 20;
      • Dave Kandal Elementary (3351 Crestview Avenue), which previously had exposures on October 15 and 16 and from November 4 to 6, added November 17 to 18.

      In Burnaby, Byrne Creek Secondary (7777 18th Street), which previously had an exposure on October 26, added November 18 and 20.

      In Chilliwack, Sardis Elementary (45775 Manuel Road) had an exposure on November 20.

      In Delta, Hellings Elementary (11655 86th Avenue), which previously had an exposure on November 19, had new exposures on 20, 23, and 24.

      In Langley, two schools had new dates:

      • Parkside Centennial Elementary (3300 270 Street) had an exposure on November 19;
      • R.C. Garnett Demonstration Elementary (7096 201 Street), which previously had an exposure on November 2, added November 20.

      In New Westminster, New Westminster Secondary (835 8th Street)—which previously had exposures from September 15 to 17; from October 14 to 16 and 20 to 21; from October 26 to 27; from November 2 to 3; on November 9; and from November 18 to 19—added November 20.

      Parkside Elementary

      In Surrey, 15 schools had new dates:

      • Colebrook Elementary (5404 125a Street), which previously had exposures from November 17 to 18, added November 19;
      • Fleetwood Park Secondary (7940 156th Street), which previously had an exposure incident on October 1, added November 18 to 20;
      • Frank Hurt Secondary (13940 77th Avenue) in Surrey—which previously had exposures from October 1 to 2; from October 5 to 9; from October 13 to 16; on October 19, 21, 22, and 30from November 2 to 3; on November 4, 5, 10, and 12from November 16 to 17; and on November 19—added November 23 and 24;
      • Goldstone Park Elementary (6287 146th Street) had exposures on November 19, 20, and 23;
      • Janice Churchill Elementary (8226 146th Street), which previously listed November 16, added on November 17;
      • Maple Green Elementary (14898 Spenser Drive) had an exposure on November 17;
      • Panorama Park Elementary (12878 62 Avenue), which previously had an exposure event from October 14 to 15, had new exposures from November 23 to 24;
      • École Panorama Ridge Secondary (13220 64th Avenue)—which previously had exposures on September 8 and 10; from September 30 to October 1; from October 6 to 9 and 13 to 15; from October 19 to 20; on November 3, 4, and 5on November 16; from November 17 to 19; and on November 20—added November 23;
      • Princess Margaret Secondary (12870 72nd Avenue)—which previously had exposures on September 11; on October 12, 15, and 16; on October 26 and 29; from November 2 to 5; on November 6; on November 13; from November 16 to 17; and from November 18 to 19—added November 23 to 24;
      • Semiahmoo Secondary (1785 148th Street)—which previously had exposure events from November 5 to 6; on November 10 and 12; from November 18 to 19—added November 23;
      • South Meridian Elementary (16244 13 Avenue) added November 20;
      • Sullivan Heights Secondary (6248 144th Street)—which had previous incidents on September 8, from September 30 to October 1; from October 13 to 15, and on October 19; from October 20 to 22; on October 30; from November 3 to 5; from November 4 to 5 and 12; on November 10 and 13; and from November 17 to 20—added November 23 to 25;
      • Walnut Road Elementary (16152 82nd Avenue)—which previously had exposures from November 12 to 13—added November 19, 20, and 24;
      • Sikh Academy Surrey (12895 85th Avenue) had an exposure on November 18;
      • Surrey Muslim School (119–7475 135 Street), which previously had exposures on November 6 and 12, added November 18 to 20.
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.