COVID-19 in B.C.: New case numbers double, Kelowna nightclub outbreak, and two flights with confirmed cases

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      While today’s number of new cases jumped to about twice yesterday’s count, an encouraging sign is that the number of hospitalizations is continuing to decrease.

      Due to the recent number of outbreaks and community exposure incidents across B.C., provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had previously stated that she was expecting case number to rise within this current time period.

      Meanwhile, a new community exposure incident has been identified at a nightclub in the Okanagan, and two flights to and from Vancouver International Airport have been confirmed with cases.

      Although B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix didn't hold an in-person briefing, Dr. Henry appeared at a news conference with B.C. Educatioin Minister Rob Fleming earlier today to announce updates to the restart plan for schools starting in September.  

      Daily update: July 29

      In a joint statement issued by Dr. Henry and Dix, B.C. confirmed 41 new cases today (July 29), bringing the cumulative provincial total to 3,562 cases. (The news release stated that these figures reflect a data correction from yesterday’s numbers but did not specify what the correction was.)

      This is the highest number of cases since 44 cases were reported on July 17. Prior to that, the number of new cases in one day have not exceeded 40 since April 28, when 41 cases were confirmed.

      The cumulative provincial total includes 1,071 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health; 1,846 in Fraser Health; 143 in Island Health; 356 in Interior Health; 86 in Northern Health; and 60 cases of people who live outside Canada.

      Currently, there are 259 active cases, with six people in hospital (two of those patients are in intensive care units). The number of individuals in hospital has been steadily decreasing this past week, and Dr. Henry has said at previous briefings that the number of hospitalized cases is what they particularly watch.

      Thankfully, there haven’t been any new deaths. The total number of fatalities remains at 194 deaths.

      A total of 3,109 people (or 87 percent of all cases) have recovered.

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

      Community outbreaks

      The good news is that there aren’t any new healthcare outbreaks.

      Also, the outbreak at St. Paul’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit in Vancouver’s West End, which was announced on July 17 involving one infant who tested positive, has been declared over.

      Accordingly, one longterm care facility and one acute care unit remain with active outbreaks.

      In addition, there aren’t any new community outbreaks.

      However, there are now 20 individuals who have tested positive in the Haida Gwaii outbreak, and 31 cases are now connected to the Fraser Valley Packers blueberry processing plant outbreak in Abbotsford. There aren’t any virus-related health concerns connected to the consumption of fruit from Fraser Valley Packers.

      Unfortunately, a new exposure event has been identified at a nightlife venue—Liquid Zoo nightclub (74 Lawrence Avenue) in Kelowna.

      Anyone who was at the location from July 15 to 18 is being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms, to reduce their contact with others, and to call 811 or Interior Health for testing while immediately self-isolating if symptoms develop.

      Meanwhile in the food sector, Loblaw announced today that a staff member at the Real Canadian Superstore (32136 Lougheed Highway) in Mission tested positive. The last date that the individual worked at the location was on July 24.

      This is the second recent case to be reported at a Real Canadian Superstore in the Lower Mainland—a case at a Surrey location was reported on July 27.

      B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
      Province of British Columbia

      Air travel

      Unfortunately, two more flights have been confirmed with COVID-19 cases.

      One is domestic, Air Canada flight 311, from Montreal to Vancouver on July 24. Affected rows include rows 1 to 4 and 12 to 14.

      An international departure, Air Canada flight 007, from Vancouver to Hong Kong on July 26 was also confirmed to be linked to COVID-19. Affected rows include 22 to 28.

      Anyone in the specified rows should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days following the flights and minimize contact with others. Anyone who develops symptoms should immediately self-isolate and contact 811 for testing if in B.C., or local health authorities.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.