COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 30 flights with exposures, 13 cases among people from outside Canada, and more

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      Today’s B.C. COVID-19 briefing by B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provided some encouraging signs that case numbers are stabilizing or decreasing in some categories.

      However, the number of deaths remains troubling, and Henry and Dix reminded everyone to continue practising safety measures as risks continue to remain present, even with the vaccination program is underway.

      Meanwhile, there were 13 confirmed cases among people from outside of Canada, and exposure events on over 30 flights and at 12 stores. 

      B.C. update: January 15 to 18

      Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a total of 1,330 (including four epi-linked cases) over the weekend, which includes:

      • 584 new cases from January 15 to 16;
      • 445 new cases from January 16 to 17;
      • 301 new cases from January 17 to 18.

      By region, that includes:

      • 548 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 281 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 257 in Interior Health;
      • 166 in Northern Health;
      • 65 in Island Health;
      • 13 people from outside Canada.

      Of the cases among people from outside Canada, Henry said the majority (she didn’t state a specific number) are among temporary foreign farm workers arriving in B.C., who are in quarantine.

      Active cases are declining—currently, there are 4,326 active cases, which is 278 less cases than January 15.

      In addition, the number of hospitalized cases continues to decrease.

      At the moment, there are 343 people in hospital (six less people since January 15), and 68 of those patients in intensive care units (the same number as January 15).

      Public health is monitoring 6,865 people (which excludes Northern Health).

      Tragically, there were 31 deaths over the past three time periods:

      • 17 deaths from January 15 to 16;
      • nine deaths from January 16 to 17;
      • five deaths from January 17 to 18.

      Dix said that there were deaths in all five health regions: 14 in Fraser Health, seven in Vancouver Coastal Health, four in Interior Health, four in Northern Health, and two in Island Health.

      During the pandemic, a cumulative total of 1,078 people have died from COVID-19 and a cumulative total of 54,656 people have now recovered.

      B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 61,447 cases over the course of the pandemic, which includes:

      • 37,806 cases in Fraser Health;
      • 14,009 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 5,313 in Interior Health;
      • 2,911 in Northern Health;
      • 1,285 in Island Health;
      • 123 people from outside Canada.

      Henry said that a total of 87,346 people have now been vaccinated.

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

      Outbreaks and clusters

      There is one new healthcare outbreak at Eagle Ridge Manor (475 Guildford Way) in Port Moody, where Fraser Health stated today that one resident and one staff member have tested positive.

      The good news is that Henry said four healthcare outbreaks have been declared over:

      • AgeCare Harmony Court in Burnaby;
      • Laurel Place at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey;
      • Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
      • McKinney Place in Oliver.

      Henry said that the McKinney Place outbreak was “very challenging” and that 17 people died in that outbreak.

      Henry said that there are active outbreaks in 58 healthcare facilities, including 48 longterm care facilities and 10 acute care facilities, involving a total of 2,054 cases (708 staff and 1,339 residents).

      Interior Health had stated that, as of January 15, there were 175 cases linked to the community cluster at Big White Mountain, which includes 110 residents at the mountain.

      Food sector

      Vancouver Coastal Health has listed three restaurants in Vancouver with potential exposure events:

      • Denny’s (622 Southwest Marine Drive) in South Vancouver, during operating hours from December 26 to January 5;
      • Nook (1525 Yew Street), during operating hours on December 31;
      • Park Drive Restaurant (1815 Commercial Drive), from 3 to 9 p.m. on December 31. 

      Over the past week, Sobeys reported that seven of its stores had staff members who have tested positive.

      Six of the stores were Safeway locations:

      • 6564 East Hastings Street in Burnaby on December 28;
      • 10355 King George Boulevard in Surrey on January 4;
      • 1100–2850 Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam on January 8;
      • 8860 152nd Street in Surrey on January 9;
      • 1611 Davie Street in Vancouver on January 11;
      • 4300 32nd Street in Vernon on January 12.

      The seventh store was FreshCo (451 Oliver Street) in Williams Lake on January 13.

      Over the weekend, Loblaw added five of its stores to its list with COVID-19 cases, including:

      • one employee who last worked on January 5 at Wholesale Club (221 Highway 16 West) in Burns Lake;
      • one employee who last worked at Real Canadian Superstore (45779 Luckakuck Way) in Chilliwack;
      • one employee who last worked on January 9 at Shoppers Drug Mart (2490 Marine Drive) in West Vancouver;
      • one employee who last worked on January 13 at Shoppers Drug Mart (7538 120th Street) in Surrey;
      • one employee who last worked on January 15 at Sewak's Your Independent Grocer (8200 Bear Paw Trail) in Whistler.

      Flights

      From January 15 to 17, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added these 33 domestic and international flights confirmed with COVID-19 to its lists of potential exposures:

      • January 3: Air Canada 551, Los Angeles to Vancouver;
      • January 3: Air Canada 114, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • January 5: Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 5: Air Canada 567, San Francisco to Vancouver;
      • January 5: Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 5: American Airlines 1539, Dallas to Vancouver;
      • January 6: Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 6: Air Canada 551, Los Angeles to Vancouver;
      • January 6: American Airlines 1539, Dallas to Vancouver;
      • January 7: Air Canada 107, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 7: Air Canada 107, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 7: Air Canada 334, Vancouver to Ottawa;
      • January 7: Air Canada 344, Vancouver to Ottawa;
      • January 8: WestJet 3176, Abbotsford to Calgary;
      • January 8: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
      • January 9: Air Canada 115, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 9: WestJet 725, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 9: Air Canada 115, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 9: Air Canada 997, Mexico City to Vancouver;
      • January 9: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
      • January 10: Air Canada 106, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • January 10: Air Canada 241, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • January 10: Air Canada 103, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • January 10: Air Canada 106, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • January 10: Air Canada 195, Toronto to Victoria;
      • January 10: Air Canada 241, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • January 11: Air Canada 305, Montreal to Vancouver;
      • January 11: WestJet 3231, Calgary to Abbotsford;
      • January 11: Air Canada 305, Montreal to Vancouver;
      • January 11: Air Canada 311, Montreal to Vancouver;
      • January 11: WestJet 227, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • January 11: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
      • January 11: Royal Dutch Airlines 681, Amsterdam to Vancouver.

      Affected row information is available at the BCCDC website.

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