COVID-19 in B.C.: Cruise ships to enter Canada in November; most new cases in Interior Health; and more

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      B.C.’s immunization program has passed another milestone, with over six million doses administered.

      Island Health also reported passing the one million mark of doses administered.

      Meanwhile, the most new cases were in Interior Health again, which also has about the same number of active cases as Fraser Health.

      Cruise ships

      The Canadian federal government had announced on February 4 of this year that cruise ships and Arctic pleasure craft would remain prohibited from entering Canadian waters until February 28, 2022.

      In light of progress with vaccinations, Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced yesterday (July 15) that cruise ships will be permitted to enter Canada as of November 1.

      Cruise ship operators, however, must comply with public health requirements.

      B.C. update: July 16

      Again, the numbers of total and new cases are provisional due to a delayed data refresh and will be verified once confirmed.

      The B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 45 new COVID-19 cases today.

      Currently, there are 652 active cases, which is two fewer cases then yesterday.

      The new and active cases include:

      • 21 new cases in Interior Health, with 164 total active cases (three more cases than yesterday);
      • 13 new cases in Fraser Health, with 163 total active cases (five fewer cases than yesterday);
      • eight new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 259 total active cases (one more case than yesterday);
      • two new cases in Island Health, with 30 total active cases (one more case than yesterday);
      • one new case in Northern Health, with 29 total active cases (one more case than yesterday);
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with seven total active cases (one more case than yesterday).

      Currently, there are 60 individuals in hospital (three fewer than yesterday) and 12 of those patients in intensive care units (same number as yesterday).

      The good news is that there aren’t any new deaths, which leaves the total fatalities at 1,761 people who have died during the pandemic.

      With 49 recoveries, there are 145,908 people who have now recovered.

      B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 148,331 cases during the pandemic.  

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Currently, there is one remaining active healthcare outbreak:

      • acute care: Laurel Place at Surrey Memorial Hospital (Fraser Health);
      • longterm care: none;
      • assisted or independent living: none.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has added the following two flights to its lists of public exposures:

      • July 9: Flair 8200, Vancouver to Montreal, affected rows 18 to 24;
      • July 12: WestJet 131, Calgary to Vancouver, affected rows 6 to 12.


      In the provincial immunization program, B.C. has administered 6,004,668 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 79.5 percent (3,686,611) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 49.9 percent (2,310,888) received their second dose.

      In addition, 80.6 percent (3,485,949) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 53.2 percent (2,301,322) received their second dose.

      Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) stated in a news release today that it has been using 12 mobile interpretation devices at its COVID-19 vaccination clinics. These devices enable patients to speak with live interpreters, who are medically trained and who offer virtual services in over 240 languages.

      So far, VCH has used the devices for over 18,000 minutes of live interpretation.

      Among the most requested languages have been Cantonese (42 percent) and Mandarin (39 percent), in addition to Vietnamese (four percent), Farsi (three percent), and Korea (three percent).

      VCH will add 74 more of these devices in the region this year.