COVID-19 in B.C.: 36 schools with new exposures, lower case counts, and more

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      After a week filled with several outbreaks, high new case counts, and a high death toll, there were some hints of potentially encouraging signs today.

      Case counts in all categories are lower than yesterday’s numbers. However, overall levels still remain relatively high in many areas.

      Meanwhile, Upper Fraser Valley RCMP announced today that Chilliwack RCMP charged and fined three unnamed churches that held in-person services on December 6 and 13 for defying provincial health orders that prohibit gatherings. (For more details, see this article.)

      B.C. update: December 18

      B.C. provincial health officer and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in a joint statement that there are 624 new cases (including four epi-linked cases) in B.C. today, with the majority (65 percent) in Fraser Health (in comparison, the next highest is Vancouver Coastal Health at 17 percent).

      By region there were:

      • 406 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 106 in Vancouver Coastal Health region;
      • 60 in Interior Health;
      • 47 in the Northern Health;
      • five in Island Health;
      • no one from outside Canada.

      Today, there are 356 people in hospital (two less than yesterday), with 92 of those patients in intensive care units (one less person since yesterday).

      Active cases have declined by 31 people since yesterday to 9,978 active cases.

      Public health is currently monitoring 10,211 people (for exposure to confirmed cases), which is 177 less people since yesterday.

      Unfortunately, there are 11 new deaths today. However, the number is lower than many of the previous days this week which have been among the highest so far during the pandemic.

      The total fatalities is now at 724 people who have died during the pandemic.

      Meanwhile, a total of 33,589 people have now recovered.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 45,400 cases, which includes:

      • 28,887 cases in Fraser Health (64 percent); 
      • 10,969 in Vancouver Coastal Health (24 percent);
      • 3,124 in Interior Health (seven percent);
      • 1,509 in Northern Health (three percent);
      • 808 in Island Health (two percent);
      • 103 people from outside Canada (less than one percent).

      Yesterday, 1,376 doses of the vaccine were given to healthcare workers, for a total of 2,592 doses since immunization began on December 15.

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

      Outbreaks and exposures

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

      Island Health provided an update about the outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Sannichton (declared on December 1), where one more patient and more one staff member have tested positive. A total of 11 patients and 11 staff members have now tested positive, and there have been three deaths.

      One community outbreak is at the Rossdown Natural Foods poultry-processing facility in Abbotsford, which Fraser Health announced yesterday. (For more details, see this article.)

      None of the five regional health authorities reported any new public exposure events.

      None of the only three food-related companies that are publicly reporting confirmed cases at their stores—Sobeys, Loblaws, and T&T Supermarket—reported any new cases.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control hasn’t listed any new flights confirmed with COVID-19 today.

      Walnut Park Elementary

      School exposures

      Today was the last day of school before winter holiday vacations.

      However, the number of schools with new exposures was higher than yesterday.

      Four health regions had a total of 36 schools with new exposure dates. Again, Island Health was the only region that didn’t have any schools with new exposure dates.

      Northern Health had three schools with new exposure dates.

      In Smithers, Walnut Park Elementary (4092 Mountainview Avenue) had exposures from December 9 to 10.

      In Terrace, two schools had exposure events:

      • Mountain View Christian Academy (3306 Griffith Street) had exposures from December 7 to 8;
      • Thornhill Primary School (3860 Paquette Avenue) had exposures on December 4, 7 to 11, and 14 to 17.

      Meanwhile, Interior Health also had three schools with new exposure dates.

      In Vernon, Clarence Fulton Secondary School (2301 Fulton Road)—which had previous exposure events from October 5 to 8; and from November 30 to December 2—added December 9.

      Two schools in Kelowna added new dates:

      • Rutland Senior Secondary (705 Rutland Road North) in Rutland—which had previous exposure events from November 16 to 19from November 23 to 25 and 27; from December 1 to 4; and on December 7—added December 9 to 10;
      • Immaculata Regional High School (1493 KLO Road)—which had previous exposure dates on November 4, 6, and 9; from November 16 to 19; and on December 1, 2, 4, and 7 to 9—added December 10 to 11.

      Vancouver Coastal Health had two schools in Richmond with new exposure dates:

      • H.J. Cambie Secondary School (4151 Jacombs Road)—which previously had exposures from October 13 to 16 and on October 19; and from November 2 to 6—had a new exposure event from December 14 to 15;
      • McKay Elementary School (7360 Lombard Road) had exposures from December 10 to 11 and 14.

      Fraser Health

      Once again, Fraser Health had the most schools with new exposure dates—28 schools.

      Four schools in Abbotsford had new dates:

      • Abbotsford Senior Secondary (33355 Bevan Avenue)—which previously had exposure incidents on October 14; on November 6 and 9; from November 17 to 20; on November 27; from December 3 to 4; and from December 7 to 8—added December 9;
      • McMillan Elementary (34830 Oakhill Drive), which previously had exposures from December 7 to 8, added December 10;
      • Terry Fox Elementary (3071 Babich Street), which previously had an exposure on December 4, added December 11;
      • Cornerstone Christian School (520–3970 Gladwin Road)—which previously had exposures from November 18 to 20; and from November 21 to 25—added December 4.

      In Burnaby, Edmonds Community Elementary (7651 18th Avenue)—which previously had exposures on November 26, 27, and 30; on December 7; and December 10 and 11—added November 12 to 14.

      Four schools in Chilliwack had new exposures:

      • John Calvin Christian School (4268 Stewart Road) had exposures from December 9 to 11 and 14;
      • A.D. Rundle Middle (45660 Hocking Avenue)—which previously had exposures from October 26 to 29; from December 3 to 4; and on December 7—added December 14;
      • Promontory Heights Community Elementary (46200 Stoneview Drive)—which previously had exposures on November 26 and from 28 to 30; on November 27 and December 1 to 3; and from November 28 and 30 to December 3 and 7—added December 8 to 9;
      • Sardis Secondary (45460 Stevenson Road)—which previously had exposures from October 26 to 30from November 23 to 25; on November 30; and from December 1 to 2—added December 8 and 11 as exposure dates.

      Four schools in Delta added new dates:

      • Delview Secondary (9111 116th Street)—which previously had an exposure on October 29; from November 6 to 16; from November 23 to 25; from November 26 to 27; and on December 3—added December 7 to 10;
      • Devon Gardens Elementary (8884 Russell Drive) had exposures from December 7 to 8;
      • Hellings Elementary (11655 86th Avenue)—which previously had exposures on November 19, 20, and from 23 to 27; and on November 30 and December 1—added December 4;
      • Seaquam Secondary (11584 Lyon Road)—which had previous exposures on November 2; from November 12 to 13 and 16; on November 20 and 23; and from November 24 to 27—added December 7.

      In Langley, Peter Ewart Middle School (7755 202a Street)—which previously had exposures from November 26 and 27; and from November 30 to December 2—added December 7 to 9.

      In Maple Ridge, two facilities were listed with new exposures:

      • Thomas Haney Secondary (23000 116th Avenue)—which had previous exposure incidents on October 26 and on November 17; and from December 9 to 11—added December 8;
      • Thomas Haney Centre (23000 116th Avenue) had exposures from December 9 to 11.

      In New Westminster, two schools had new exposures:

      • Queen Elizabeth Elementary (921 Salter Street), which previously had an exposure on November 20, had exposures on December 4 and 7 to 9;
      • Queensborough Middle School (833 Salter Street)—which previously had exposures from September 21 to 22; and from November 24 to 25 and December 2 to 3—added December 4 and 7 to 9.

      In Port Moody, Heritage Woods Secondary School (1300 David Avenue), which previously had an exposure on October 15, had a new exposure on December 4.

      Surrey had nine schools with new exposures:

      • A.H.P. Matthew Elementary (13367 97th Avenue) had an exposure on December 14;
      • Brookside Elementary (8555 142a Street)—which previously had exposures from November 24 to 26; and from November 30 to December 1—added December 4 and 7 to 9;
      • École Salish Secondary (7278 184 Street), which previously had an exposure on October 16, had exposures on December 7, 9, and 11;
      • Elgin Park Secondary (13484 24 Avenue)—which previously had exposures on November 10 and December 1; and on December 3, 4, and 9—added December 7 to 8;
      • 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; on November 20 and 23from November 24 to 27 and 30; from December 1 to 2; from December 3 to 4; and from December 9 to 10—added December 7 to 8;
      • 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; from November 17 to 20; from November 23 to 25; from November 30 to December 3; and on December 4; and from December 7 to 9—added December 11;
      • T.E. Scott Elementary (7079 148th Street)—which previously had exposures from September 14 to 15, and from November 17 to 18; from November 19 to 20; on November 25 and 27on November 24; and from November 27 and 30 to December 3—added December 10 and 14;
      • Woodward Hill Elementary (6082 142 Street)—which previously had exposures from October 14 to 16 and 19 to 20; and from November 16 to 18—added December 4, 9, 10, and 11;
      • Khalsa School Newton (6933 124th Street)—which previously had exposure events from September 22 to 25; from October 20 to 22; from October 28 to 30; from November 16 to 17; from November 18 to 20; from November 23 to 24; on November 26, 27, and 30; from December 1 to 2; on December 4 and 11—added December 9 to 10.

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