COVID-19 in B.C.: Case numbers remain stable but deaths still high, seven flights with exposures, and more

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      Once again, case numbers appear to be under control in several categories but the number of deaths remain at concerning levels.

      There are two new healthcare outbreaks and seven flights with potential exposures.

      Also, a class at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School has been instructed by Vancouver Coastal Health to self-isolate at home due to an individual at the school testing positive. 

      Meanwhile, in a bid to maintain business during the pandemic, the Rio Theatre announced it will operate as a sports bar, rather than as a movie theatre or performing arts venue. Cinemas are not allowed to operate under current provincial health orders, which continue until February 5, but bars are able to remain open. 

      Although Lussier Hot Springs in the East Kootenays has remained closed since March last year in order to maintain health measures, B.C. Parks stated that visitors and vandalism remain an ongoing problem and are advising people to use neighbouring hot springs at Fairmont and Radium where physical distancing can be maintained. 

      B.C. update: January 20

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix stated in a joint statement that there are 500 new cases in B.C. today. That includes:

      • 216 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 125 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 91 in Interior Health;
      • 35 in Northern Health;
      • 32 in Island Health;
      • one person from outside Canada.

      For a second day, active cases have remained approximately on par with the previous day. Currently, there are 4,345 active cases, which is only 14 more cases since yesterday.

      Also for another consecutive day, hospitalized cases continue to decrease. With nine less people than yesterday, there are currently 320 people are in hospital, and 66 of those patients are in intensive care units (four less individuals since yesterday).

      Public health is monitoring 6,905 people due to exposure to confirmed cases.

      Tragically, there are 14 new COVID-19-related deaths. A total of 1,104 people in B.C. have now died during the pandemic.

      A cumulative total of 55,564 people have now recovered, which is 465 people since yesterday.

      Over the duration of the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 62,412 cases. By region, that includes:

      • 38,284 cases in Fraser Health;
      • 14,217 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 5,465 cases in Interior Health;
      • 2,978 in Northern Health;
      • 1,338 in Island Health;
      • 130 people from outside Canada.

      Since vaccinations began in B.C., a total of 98,125 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province.

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


      Unfortunately, there are two new healthcare outbreaks:

      • Villa Cathay Care Home (970 Union Street) in Vancouver;
      • Acropolis Manor (1325 Summit Avenue) in Prince Rupert, where Northern Health stated that four residents and three staff have tested positive.

      However, outbreaks at three healthcare facilities have been declared over:

      • Guildford Seniors Village in Surrey;
      • Mountainview Village in Kelowna, which Interior Health stated involved 16 cases (eight residents and eight staff members, with two deaths of residents);
      • Village by the Station in Penticton, which Interior Health stated involved 10 cases (five residents and five staff, with one death of a resident).

      In addition, Fraser Health has declared a community outbreak at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre (14323 57th Avenue).

      Flights and stores

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

      • January 6: Air Canada 314, Vancouver to Montreal;
      • January 9:  Aeromexico 696, Mexico City to Vancouver;
      • January 11: Swoop 207, Edmonton to Abbotsford;
      • January 13: Air Canada 45, Delhi to Vancouver;
      • January 14: WestJet 129, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • January 15: WestJet 119, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • January 17: Air Canada 103, Toronto to Vancouver.

      Affected row information is available at the BCCDC website.

      Sobeys listed Thrifty Foods (120-845 Marine Drive) in North Vancouver as having one employee, who last worked at the location on January 17, as having tested positive.