COVID-19 in B.C.: New cases counts show signs of uptick; vaccination clinics cancelled due to wildfires; and more

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      Today’s new case count is higher than what has been reported over the past few weeks.

      Interior and Fraser Health shared the bulk of new cases and increases in active cases, and Vancouver Coastal Health still has the most active cases.  

      In contrast, Northern Health had no new cases.  

      However, another provincial crisis is having an impact upon COVID-19 progress. 

      While vaccination appointments had been previously cancelled in some parts of the province due to the recent heat wave, some immunization clinics are now having to temporarily suspend operations due to wildfires.

      Today, the B.C. government declared a state of emergency due to wildfires surging across the province. This state of emergency follows the cessation of the record-breaking COVID-19 state of emergency, which took effect on March 18, 2020 (one day after B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency) and only recently ended on June 30.

      Both Interior and Fraser Health are alerting people to prepare for further impacts from B.C. wildfires, including poor air quality, evacuation alerts or orders, and power loss. Regional health authorities are also monitoring wildfires for impacts upon healthcare services and facilities.

      Interior Health announced today that it cancelled the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Oliver and Osoyoos today and tomorrow (July 20 and 21) due to the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire. Anyone seeking an alternate location for vaccinations can drop in at the clinic held at the Trade and Convention Centre in Penticton.

      B.C. update: July 20

      The B.C. Health Ministry is reporting that there are 76 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. today.  

      A total of 692 COVID-19 cases are currently active in B.C., which is an increase of 39 cases since yesterday.

      The new and active cases include:

      • 37 new cases in Interior Health, with 207 total active cases (an increase of 28 cases since yesterday);
      • 27 new cases in Fraser Health, with 182 total active cases (an increase of 16 cases since yesterday);
      • nine new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 241 total active cases (a decrease of five cases since yesterday);
      • three new cases in Island Health, with 22 total active cases (one more case than yesterday);
      • no new cases in Northern Health, with 32 total active cases (one fewer case than yesterday);
      • no new cases of people from outside of Canada, with eight total active cases (same number as yesterday).

      Currently, there are 50 individuals in hospital (one more since yesterday) and 12 are in intensive care units (same number as yesterday).

      The good news is that there weren’t any new COVID-19-related deaths reported. Thus, the total number of fatalities remains at 1,763 people who have died during the pandemic.

      With 37 recoveries since yesterday, a cumulative total of 146,099 people have now recovered.

      B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 148,563 cases during the pandemic.

      Vaccinations

      In B.C. immunization program, the province has administered 6,233,656 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

      As of today, 80 percent (3,706,660) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines and 54.4 percent (2,519,686) have received their second dose.

      In addition, 81 percent (3,503,156) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 57.8 percent (2,498,763) have received their second dose.

      Once again, Fraser Health and TransLink launched the air-conditioned, specially equipped Mobile Vaccine Bus to hold temporary vaccination clinics.

      Today, the bus stopped in Aldergrove and tomorrow (July 21), it will hold a temporary clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot at Walmart (8249 Eagle Landing Parkway) in Chilliwack, in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority.

      Anyone who hasn’t received their first dose yet will have priority, and anyone who needs their second dose will be added to a wait list and will receive a text message if there are enough supplies to accommodate them.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Currently, there are two active outbreaks:

      • acute care: Laurel Place at Surrey Memorial Hospital (Fraser Health);
      • long-term care: Holyrood Manor (Fraser Health);
      • assisted or independent living: none.

      None of the five regional health authorities declared any new healthcare or community outbreaks, and didn’t list any new public exposures or business closures.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added the following six flights to its public exposure lists (affected row information is listed at the BCCDC website when available):

      • July 12: Air Canada 555, Los Angeles to Vancouver, affected rows 27 to 33;
      • July 12: Flair 8806, Vancouver to Waterloo;
      • July 13: Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver;
      • July 15: Aeromexico 696, Mexico City to Vancouver;
      • July 16: Alaska Airlines 2206, Seattle to Vancouver;
      • July 17: Air Canada 555, Los Angeles to Vancouver, affected rows 27 to 33.

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