COVID-19 in B.C.: Wrestling gym and Whistler bus exposure events, group home outbreak, and more

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      Although today’s case numbers show some signs of increases, B.C.’s overall trend has been in the right direction.

      In today’s joint statement, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that B.C. is making progress "in our efforts to push back on the COVID-19 virus and get to the days of fewer restrictions in our province”.

      Both of them encouraged everyone to help “keep this positive, forward momentum” with small efforts on a daily basis.

      Today, the federal government provided updates on a new requirement for COVID-19 test results at Canada's land borders, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) clawback, and extracting a sixth dose from the Pfizer vaccine. 

      Meanwhile, there have been a number of health violations reported by police in Metro Vancouver.

      Today, Surrey RCMP stated the officers used a search warrant at an illegal afterhours nightclub in the Whalley area, where 21 attendees received 26 violation tickets for a total of almost $6,000 in fines. The host, who has previously been fined, has been given notice to appear in court for this latest violation of provincial health orders.

      In addition, Surrey RCMP reported issuing fines this past weekend to a man who broke quarantine ($1,150 fine), a restaurant owner holding a wedding ($2,300 fine), and an individual holding a gathering at a residence ($2,300). 

      Meanwhile in Downtown Vancouver, police arrested a man after he got into an argument with a convenience store employee for not wearing a mask, that allegedly involved the male suspect spitting in the face of the employee and getting into a physical fight. Police are recommending assault charges.

      B.C. update: February 9

      Henry and Dix stated that there are 435 new cases (including 13 epi-linked cases) today. That includes:

      • 221 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 107 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 47 in Interior Health;
      • 37 in Northern Health;
      • 23 in Island Health;
      • no one from outside of Canada.

      Both the numbers of active and hospitalized cases have increased.

      With 417 additional active cases since yesterday, there are now 4,393 active cases today.

      Meanwhile, seven more patients have been admitted to hospital, raising the total number to 241 cases in hospitals, and 68 of those patients are in intensive care units (one less since yesterday).

      Public health is currently monitoring 6,879 people for exposure to confirmed cases.

      Sadly, there are four new COVID-19-related deaths. B.C.’s cumulative total number of COVID-related fatalities during the pandemic is now at 1,263 deaths.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a total of 71,387 cases, which includes:

      • 42,325 cases in Fraser Health;
      • 16,415 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 6,768 in Interior Health;
      • 3,849 in Northern Health;
      • 1,892 in Island Health;
      • 138 people from outside Canada.

      A cumulative total of 65,618 people have recovered.

      As of today, 155,585 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., and 12,802 of those are second doses.

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

      Outbreaks, clusters, and exposures

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

      Fraser Health stated that the outbreak at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (mentioned in yesterday’s update) is limited to one medicine unit where two patients and two staff members have tested positive. While that unit has been closed to admissions, the rest of the hospital remains operational.

      Northern Health provided an update today on the outbreak at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert, where a total of 31 residents and 20 staff members have now tested positive. Tragically, 12 residents have died in this outbreak.

      Interior Health stated today that it has declared an outbreak at the Highridge Home and Singh House, a group home in Kamloops where six staff members have tested positive.

      In an update on the Williams Lake community cluster, Interior Health said today that there have been 10 additional cases confirmed since the last update on February 5, which brings the total number to 401 cases since January 1. With 339 people having recovered, there remain 62 active cases.

      Meanwhile, Interior Health stated that there haven’t been any new cases in the Fernie community cluster since the last update on February 5 (leaving the total at 97 cases).

      Fraser Health has listed a potential public exposure event at Rustom Wrestling Club (104–13423 78th Avenue) in Surrey, which occurred from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on January 28.

      Food and transportation

      Sobeys has listed four stores with staff members who have tested positive.

      Three of them are Safeway locations:

      • an employee who last worked on February 2 at the 2101 Lahb Avenue location in Vancouver;
      • an employee who last worked on February 6 at the 4440 Hastings Street in Burnaby;
      • an employee who last worked on February 7 at the 1780 East Broadway in Vancouver.

      The fourth store was a Thrifty Foods location at 1207 56th Street in Delta, where an employee who tested positive last worked on February 3.

      Loblaws had two stores with staff members who tested positive.

      One was Shoppers Drug Mart (6–12830 96th Avenue) in Surrey, where an employee who tested positive last worked on February 7.

      The other was Real Canadian Superstore (6435 Metral Drive) in Nanaimo, where an employee who tested positive last worked on February 6.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has listed an Epic Rides bus trip from Vancouver to Whistler on January 29 as having a potential COVID-19 exposure. (Departure and arrival times were not given.)

      In addition, the BCCDC also listed two flights with COVID-19 exposures:

      • February 2: Air France Flight 74, Paris to Vancouver, affected rows not available;
      • February 2: WestJet Flight 164, Vancouver to Edmonton, affected rows 12 to 18.
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.