COVID in B.C.: Public health to adapt approach as cases decline; 12 deaths; nine flights with exposures; and more

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      Today’s B.C. COVID-19 update featured deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson broadcast from Vancouver while Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke from Victoria. 

      As the province makes further advances in immunizations, B.C.’s approach to addressing the pandemic will respond and adjust accordingly.

      For instance, Gustafson explained that as case numbers decline, seven-day averages and longterm trends will become more important than daily fluctuations of case numbers. (B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had previously explained that case counts for individual days can be susceptible to several factors).

      “From a public-health perspective, as long as we continue on this trajectory, we will be aiming to shift our approach from pandemic emergency response to sustainable public-health management,” she said.

      In other words, she explained, COVID-19 will eventually become just one of the many communicable diseases that public health and the healthcare system manages every day. 

      Despite the progress in reducing COVID-19 case numbers, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix pointed out that doesn’t mean that the B.C. healthcare system isn’t active—in fact, he said that other than New Year’s Eve 2017/New Year’s Day 2018, June 2 of this year marked the highest number of ambulance calls in the history of the B.C. ambulance system. 


      Burnaby RCMP released its monthly summary of COVID-19 compliance enforcement for May.

      Last month, Burnaby officers responded to a total of 76 complaints, and issued 16 violation tickets, which included eight tickets to those not wearing a face covering and eight tickets to individuals hosting or organizing events. 

      B.C. update: June 4 to 7

      Gustafson announced that there were 481 new cases over the weekend, which includes:

      • 218 new cases from June 4 to 5;
      • 131 from June 5 to 6;
      • 133 from June 6 to 7.

      By region, the total includes:

      • 285 in Fraser Health;
      • 101 in Interior Health;
      • 70 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 15 in Northern Health;
      • nine in Island Health;
      • no one from outside Canada.

      Currently, there are 2,102 active cases, which is a decrease of 351 cases since June 4. 

      Today, there are 199 people are in hospitals (a decrease of 25 patients since June 4), with 63 of those patients in intensive care units (four fewer patients than June 4).

      Tragically, there are 12 COVID-19-related deaths. The total number of fatalities in the province is now at 1,722 people who have died. 

      Dix said that total included nine deaths from June 4 to 5; one from June 5 to 6; and two from June 6 to 7. By region, the total included eight deaths in Fraser Health and four deaths in Vancouver Coastal Health. 

      B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 141,663 recoveries and 145,530 COVID-19 cases during the course of the pandemic. 

      A total of 3,635,795 doses have been administered in B.C., which includes:

      • 74 percent of adults have their first dose;
      • 72 percent of all those over 12 years old have received their first dose;
      • 39 percent of youth ages 12 to 17 have received their first dose.

      Invitations for those who received AstraZeneca for their first dose to book an appointment for their second dose will begin to be sent out today, as Henry had previously announced.

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix
      Province of British Columbia

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Today, Fraser Health declared an outbreak at Glenwood Care Centre in Agassiz, where two residents and one staff member have tested positive. 

      Meanwhile, Gustafson said that the community outbreak at Sunrise Poultry in Surrey has been declared over.

      None of the five regional health authorities listed any new community outbreaks, public exposure events, or businesses closed due to COVID-19.

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

      • May 28: Air Canada/Jazz 8567, Regina to Vancouver;
      • May 29: WestJet Flight 3181, Edmonton to Kelowna;
      • May 31: Air Canada/Jazz 8550, Vancouver to Regina;
      • June 1: Air Canada 128, Vancouver to Toronto;
      • June 1: Air Canada/Jazz 8401, Calgary to Kelowna;
      • June 2: WestJet 3139, Vancouver to Calgary;
      • June 2: Harbour Air 1705, Vancouver to Tofino;
      • June 3: Harbour Air 1706, Tofino to Vancouver;
      • June 3: Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver.

      Sobeys listed the Safeway located at 697 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna as having one staff member who tested positive and who last worked there on June 1.

      Loblaw added the following four locations which each had one staff member who tested positive:

      • Lonsdale City Market (1650 Lonsdale Avenue) in North Vancouver (last date employee worked: May 24);
      • Real Canadian Superstore (1301 Lougheed Highway) in Coquitlam (last date worked: May 29);
      • Dean's No Frills Vancouver (4508 Fraser Street) in Vancouver (last date worked: May 30);
      • Shoppers Drug Mart (102–22441 Dewdney Trunk Road) Maple Ridge (last date worked: June 2).