COVID-19 in B.C.: Fourth day with new case count below 200; Kelowna hospital outbreak; and more

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      For a fourth consecutive day, the new case count remained below 200. Active and hospitalized cases either remained the same or decreased.

      However, there is one new healthcare outbreak.

      Meanwhile, over 60 B.C. public health physicians and child health specialists sent out an open letter about why schools should remain open during the pandemic. 

      As cases numbers lower and B.C. continues to advance in its immunization program, the question of when travel restrictions can be lifted is something that remains unclear.

      An upcoming SFU Vancouver online event will address border management issues related to health and the reopening of travel.

      At a Lunch ’n’ Learn session entitled Post Covid, Will Travel: Why Fixing Canada’s Border Management Must Come Before Lifting Travel Restrictions, SFU health sciences professor Kelley Lee, who is an expert on transboundary health risks, will discuss the nation’s border management policies during COVID-19.

      In particular, Lee will talk about why shortcomings need to be addressed before travel restrictions are removed.

      This free session will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. on June 16. Further information is available at the event webpage.

      B.C. update: June 4

      Today, there are 183 new cases (including two epi-linked cases) in B.C., according to a joint statement from B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. By region, that includes:

      • 101 new cases in Fraser Health;
      • 40 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 30 in Interior Health;
      • nine in Northern Health;
      • three in Island Health;
      • no one from outside of Canada.

      A decrease of 110 active cases leaves the current number at 2,453 active cases today.

      The number of hospitalized cases remains the same as yesterday—224 individuals are in hospitals, and 59 of those patients (three fewer than yesterday) are in intensive care units.

      Unfortunately, there is one new COVID-19-related death, which brings the cumulative total fatalities to 1,710 people who have died.

      With 298 recoveries since yesterday, a cumulative total of 140,835 people have now recovered.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 145,049 cases.

      As of today, a total of 3,488,884 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C.’s immunization program, and 256,725 of those are second doses.

      Approximately 72 percent of all adults in B.C. and almost 70 percent of those 12 and older have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Today, Interior Health announced that it has declared an outbreak in Unit 3E at Kelowna General Hospital, where two patients and one staff member have tested positive. Any patients with COVID-19 are being relocated to the COVID-19 unit, and Interior Health stated that there isn’t any evidence of transmission to other parts of the hospital. The hospital remains open for appointments and emergency care.

      There aren’t any new community outbreaks or public exposure events.

      Fraser Health listed two businesses that were closed on June 2 due to COVID-19:

      • Nikon Optical Canada (2999 Underhill Avenue) in Burnaby;
      • YDG Glass and Mirror (1492 Derwent Way) in Delta.

      Loblaw listed the Real Canadian Superstore at 3000 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam as having one staff member who tested positive and who last worked at the location on May 27. 

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