COVID-19 in B.C.: Third Mexico-to-Vancouver flight with confirmed case, new outbreaks in Kelowna and Haida Gwaii

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      While the number of new cases remain about the same as previous days, a number of new outbreaks have taken place in B.C., including in the Okanagan and on Haida Gwaii.

      Also, another flight arrived in Vancouver with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

      Daily update: July 24

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix issued a joint statement for today’s B.C. COVID-19 update.

      Today, B.C. reported 27 new cases (including one epi-linked case), increasing the cumulative provincial total to 3,419 cases over the course fo the pandemic, including 1,057 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health; 1,764 in Fraser Health; 142 in Island Health; 319 in Interior Health; 79 in Northern Health; and 58 cases of people who live outside Canada.

      Currently, there are 294 active cases. The number of hospitalized individuals is down to 12 people (with three of those patients in intensive care units).

      Unfortunately, one new death raises the total number of fatalities to 191 deaths.

      A total of 2,934 people (86 precent of cumulative total cases) have recovered. 

      There aren’t any new healthcare outbreaks (one longterm care facility and two acute care facilities remain with active outbreaks).

      However, a number of community outbreaks have taken place in different parts of the province.

      First Nations Health Authority acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald
      Province of British Columbia

      Haida Gwaii

      On July 22, the Haida Nation issued a community bulletin to state that there were suspected COVID-19 cases in the north and Skidgate areas of Haida Gwaii.

      An outbreak has since been confirmed, involving a total of 13 confirmed cases so far. One person has since recovered, leaving 12 active cases.

      All cases are local residents, and involve some residents who had travelled off the island and others who had been exposed to known cases.

      A health investigation is underway to determine the initial source of transmission.

      On July 9, the Haida Nation had announced that they were occupying two ancient villages on Haida Gwaii in opposition to two luxury sport fishing resorts—Queen Charlotte Lodge (QCL) and West Coast Fishing Club—that had reopened without Haida consent.

      The Haida Nation stated that they have limited healthcare services and only two ventilators on Haida Gwaii.

      The Haida Hereditary Chiefs’ Council issued a statement on July 21 that QCL “has been dishonest in its representations to the public and its patrons when they claimed to be cooperating with the Council of the Haida Nation in the face of COVID-19” and has disrespected the Gaandlee Guu Jaalang Daughters of the River who asked the QCL to remain closed during pandemic.

      The council also listed a number of other issues, including expansion beyond what they deem “acceptable limits”; “disregard for any fishing regulation or conservation measures”; “disregard for marine etiquette and safety” near small boats; and “contempt for the environment” due to the use of an old tug boat that impacts the seabed and kelp, and discharges raw sewage.

      The council stated that the QCL is no longer welcome on Haida Gwaii.

      Queen Charlotte Lodge

      Okanagan sites

      In addition to the COVID-19 exposure event in Kelowna during the week of Canada Day, another incident has been identified.

      Anyone who visited Browns Socialhouse (100–1544 Harvey Avenue) on July 13 or 16 to 19 is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after their visit while limiting social contact with others. (As previously reported, three restaurants in Metro Vancouver had confirmed cases on their premises.)

      Also, anyone who visited Fossello’s clothing store (565 Bernard Avenue) in Kelowna on July 18 or July 20 is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after their visit while reducing social contacts.

      Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately self-isolate and call 811 to seek testing.

      Air travel

      A third flight from Mexico has been confirmed with a COVID-19 case.

      Aeromexico flight 696 arrived at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) from Mexico City on July 15. Row 23 to 29 were listed as affected.

      Two previously reported Aeromexico flights on the same route, arriving on July 8 and 17, also had confirmed cases.

      Anyone who was on these flights should monitor themselves for 14 days after the flight date and limit interactions with others. Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately self-isolate and call 811 to seek testing.

      Update (July 25): Four more flights (three international, one domestic) between Vancouver and the U.K., U.S., and Alberta have been confirmed with COVID-19 cases.

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