COVID-19 in B.C.: New cases over 600 per day; 37 schools with new exposures; 11 new healthcare outbreaks; and more
New case counts remained above 600 for the entire weekend. In addition, all three cases counts were above the record high of 617 new cases reported on November 13.
There have also been nine deaths, 11 new healthcare outbreaks, a community outbreak at a gym, nine stores and seven flights with confirmed cases, and 37 schools with new exposures, clusters, or outbreaks.
Data and enforcement
When B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had provided a monthly data and modelling update on November 12, she had said that they have been seeing a “dramatic increase” in case numbers, including hospitalizations.
“It’s stretching our ability to cope from a public health perspective,” she said. “We are at a place that is challenging for us.”
She said that the case rate has been doubling every 13 days, which indicates that the number of cases are accelerating in communities and that there are challenges breaking chains of transmission through case management and contact tracing.
B.C. had also surpassed Ontario for new daily case rates per 1 million population.
She also noted that they have been seeing transmission once again driven by young adults, including through social interactions and at workplaces, which has led to spillover into older age groups, particularly in those 80s years and older in recent weeks.
The primary source of transmissions, she said, remains within households or at community interactions, such as private parties, celebrations, or meeting others at sporting events.
Meanwhile on November 13, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth had announced new ticketing measures implemented for party buses and limousines in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, following new provincial health officer orders that were announced on November 7.
Anyone who operates or permits the operation of perimeter-seating vehicles or perimeter-seating buses will be subject to a $2,000 fine. In addition, anyone who participates in a social gathering on a bus or limousine could face individual fines of $200.
Today, Henry also issued a statement to respond to numerous questions she has received about masks being mandatory.
COVID-19 update: November 13 to 16
At today’s briefing, Henry announced there were:
- 654 new cases from November 13 to 14;
- 659 new cases from November 14 to 15, which sets a new record high;
- 646 new cases from November 15 to 16.
The total for the three time periods is 1,959 new cases, which include three epi-linked cases and consists of:
- 1,361 new cases in Fraser Health;
- 455 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health;
- 87 in Interior Health;
- 41 in Island Health;
- 14 in Northern Health;
- one person from outside Canada.
The number of active cases has increased by 700 people from November 13 to 6,279 active cases today.
Currently, there are now 181 people in hospital (14 more people since November 13), with 57 of those patients in intensive care units (seven more people than November 13).
The one area in which numbers dropped was the number of people public health is monitoring (for exposure to confirmed cases), which is now at 10,928 people—that’s 1,088 less people than November 13.
Tragically, there have been nine new deaths, which brings the total number of fatalities to 299 people who have died during the pandemic.
A total number of 10,928 people have recovered.
The cumulative total number of cases confirmed during the pandemic is now at 22,944 cases, which includes:
- 14,175 cases in Fraser Health;
- 6,692 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
- 1,088 in Interior Health;
- 518 in Northern Health;
- 381 in Island Health;
- 90 people from outside Canada.
Henry announced there have been 11 new healthcare outbreaks over the past three time periods:
- Al Hogg Pavilion (15521 Russell Avenue) in White Rock, which had a previous outbreak on October 22;
- Jackman Manor (27477 28 Avenue) in Aldergrove in Langley;
- George Derby Centre (7550 Cumberland Street) longterm care facility in Burnaby, which has had two previous outbreaks;
- Kiwanis Care Centre (35 Clute Street) in New Westminster;
- Columbus Residence (704 W 69th Avenue) in Vancouver;
- Holy Family Hospital (7801 Argyle Street) in Vancouver, which has had three previous outbreaks;
- Arbutus Care Centre (4505 Valley Drive) in Vancouver, which had a previous outbreak declared in September;
- PICS Assisted Living (12075 75A Avenue) in Burnaby, which had two previous outbreaks;
- Village by the Station (270 Hastings Avenue) in Penticton;
- Hamlets at Westsyde (3255 Overlander Drive) in Kamloops;
- Burnaby Hospital (3935 Kincaid Street) in Burnaby.
Four outbreaks have been declared over:
- Haro Park Centre in Vancouver;
- Pinegrove Place in Richmond;
- Village at Mill Creek in Kelowna;
- Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in Surrey.
Active outbreaks are at 41 longterm care or assisted-living facilities and seven acute-care facilities for a total of 48 healthcare facilities.
Community outbreaks and public exposures
As previously reported, Fraser Health declared a community outbreak at Platinum Athletic Club (7653 King George Boulevard) in Surrey, where 42 people tested positive as of November 13. This fitness centre has been closed until Fraser Health approves its reopening.
According to a statement from the gym, some individuals, who later tested positive, had attended the gym while awaiting their tests results.
Meanwhile, Fraser Health has listed Slumber Lodge Motel (250 Fort Street) in Hope, B.C., as having an exposure event from November 7 to 9.
Sobeys announced that staff members at two of its stores have tested positive:
- one employee who last worked at FreshCo (7450 120 Street) in Surrey on November 10;
- two employees who last worked at Safeway (119–2295 2nd Avenue West) in Prince Rupert on November 5 and 6.
Loblaw confirmed staff members who tested positive were at seven of its stores:
- one employee who last worked at Your Independent Grocer (1255 Davie Street) in Vancouver on November 6;
- one employee who last worked at the Shoppers Drug Mart (20159 88th Avenue) in Langley on November 9;
- one employee who last worked at the Real Canadian Superstore (333 Seymour Boulevard) in North Vancouver on November 9;
- one employee who last worked at the Real Canadian Superstore (45779 Luckakuck Way) in Chilliwack on November 9;
- two employees who last worked at the Real Canadian Superstore (19851 Willowbrook Drive) in Langley on November 6 and 10;
- one employee who last worked at the Real Canadian Superstore (2855 Gladwin Road) in Abbotsford on November 13;
- one employee who last worked at Tyler’s No Frills (3455 Johnston Road) in Port Alberni on November 13.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added seven flight confirmed with COVID-19 to its list:
- November 6: Air Canada 45, Delhi to Vancouver;
- November 6: Air Canada 114, Vancouver to Toronto;
- November 6: Air Canada 551, Los Angeles to Vancouver;
- November 6: Air Canada 8194, Vancouver to Kamloops;
- November 9: Air Canada 215, Calgary to Vancouver;
- November 9: Air Canada/Jazz 8572, Vancouver to Regina;
- November 10: Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver.
Affected row information is listed on the BCCDC website.
Anyone at these locations or on these flights during the specified dates should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local healthcare provider or call 811 (if in B.C.).
School exposures, clusters, and outbreaks
At last week’s data and modelling update, Henry said that there had been 261 exposure events (as of November 12), which involves someone present in the school who is positive.
However, she said that as transmissions within schools have remained low, she said this indicates that the health measures in place are working. She pointed out that nine in 10 schools haven’t had an exposure event.
Since the update, the province’s second outbreak in a school was declared on November 14 at Cambridge Elementary School (6115 150th Street) in Surrey, which has been temporarily closed for two weeks to prevent any possible transmission. The school had previous exposure dates from November 3 to 5. There were seven cases involved as of November 14.
As previously reported, two other schools were closed due to clusters:
- Jarvis Traditional Elementary School (7670 118 Street) in Delta, which had exposures from November 3 to 6 and on November 9 and had six cases as of November 14;
- Al-Hidayah School (7 6th Street) in Surrey, which had an exposure event on November 9 and had eight cases as of November 14.
In B.C., a cluster is defined as when two or more people who attended school are confirmed as positive. An outbreak in a school is declared when widespread transmission is taking place between groups of classes or learning groups in a school and the chains of transmission are unclear.
Including the above three schools, regional health authorities added a total of 37 schools with new exposures, clusters, or outbreaks.
Vancouver Coastal Health and Northern Health didn’t have any schools with new exposure dates.
Island Health had three schools with new dates, including one cluster.
In Ladysmith, Ladysmith Secondary School (710 6th Avenue) had an exposure event from November 9 to 10 and 12 to 13.
In Nanaimo, one school had a cluster while the other had an exposure event:
- Randerson Ridge Elementary (6021 Nelson Road) had a cluster from November 4 to 6 and 9 to 10;
- Frank J. Ney Elementary (5301 Williamson Road) had an exposure event on November 12.
Interior Health added four schools with new exposures.
In Kimberley, Kimberley Independent (73 101st Avenue) had an exposure on November 10.
In Kamloops, NorKam Secondary (730 12th Street) had an exposure incident on November 6.
In Kelowna, two schools had new dates:
- Kelowna Secondary School (1079 Raymer Avenue)—which previously had an exposure event from October 19 to 21; a second case on October 21; a third exposure event from October 28 to 30; four new cases from October 2 to 4; and another event from October 5 to 6—had added November 9, 10, and 12 as new exposure dates;
- École Dr. Knox Middle School (121 Drysdale Boulevard), which had previous exposures on November 2 and 6, added November 8 as a new exposure date.
Fraser Health added 27 schools with new exposure dates.
In Abbotsford, three schools had new dates:
- Eugene Reimer Middle (3433 Firhill Drive), which previously had exposures on October 5 and from October 26 to 27, had an exposure on November 9;
- Dave Kandal Elementary (3351 Crestview Avenue), which previously had exposures on October 15 and 16, had exposures from November 4 to 6;
- Mennonite Educational Institute (4081 Clearbrook Road)—which had previous exposures on October 13, 14, 16, and 30—has added November 4 to 6 and 9 to 10 as exposure dates.
In Burnaby, two school had new exposure events.
- Morley Elementary (7355 Morley Street) had exposures from November 3 to 4 and on November 6;
- Twelfth Avenue Elementary (7622 12th Avenue) had an exposure on November 9.
In Coquitlam, Glen Elementary (3064 Glen Drive) had exposures on November 4 and 6.
In Port Coquiltam, four schools had new dates:
- Central Elementary (2260 Central Avenue) had exposures from November 3 to 4;
- École Mary Hill Elementary (1890 Humber Crescent) had exposures from November 3 to 6;
- Hazel Trembath Elementary (1278 Confederation Drive) also had exposures from November 3 to 6;
- Terry Fox Secondary (1260 Riverwood Gate), which previously had exposures from October 26 to 29, had a new exposure on November 4.
In Chilliwack, two schools had new dates:
- Unsworth Elementary (5685 Unsworth Road) had exposures from November 9 to 10;
- Timothy Christian (50420 Castleman Road) had an exposure event from November 3 to 6.
In Delta, four schools had new exposure events:
- Burnsview Secondary (7658 112 Street) had exposures from November 3 to 5;
- Delta Secondary (4615 51st Street), which had previous exposures on September 11 and 13, had a new exposure from November 3 to 4;
- Gray Elementary (10855 80 Avenue), which previously had an exposure on November 5, has added November 6;
- Heath Traditional Elementary (11364 72 Avenue), which previously had exposure incidents on October 13 and from October 27 to 29, had a new exposure on November 3.
In Langley, two school had new dates:
- H.D. Stafford Middle School (20441 Grade Crescent), which previously had an exposure on October 9, added November 6 and 9 as new dates;
- Willoughby Elementary (20766 80 Avenue) had an exposure event from November 5 to 6.
In Surrey, nine schools had new dates, in addition to the three previously mentioned closed schools:
- Clayton Heights Secondary (7003 188 Street), which previously had exposures from October 15 to 16 and 19 to 22, added November 10 as a new date;
- Earl Marriott Secondary (15751 16th Avenue)—which previously had exposures on September 17, 18, 21, and 23, and November 2 to 4—added November 3 to 5 as a new exposure event;
- Enver Creek Secondary (14505 84th Avenue)—which previously had exposures on October 9, 14, and 26—had a new exposure event from November 3 to 5;
- Dr. F.D. Sinclair Elementary (7480 128 Street), which previously had exposure events from October 5 to 6 and from November 3 to 5, had a new exposure on November 9
- Frost Road Elementary (8606 162 Street), which had a previous exposure on November 5, added November 3 and 4 as new dates;
- Georges Vanier Elementary (6985 142 Street)—which previously had exposures from September 29 to 30, on October 19 and November 2—added November 5 as an exposure date;
- Semiahmoo Secondary (1785 148 Street) had an exposure event from November 5 to 6;
- Tamanawis Secondary School (12600 66 Avenue)—which previously had incidents on September 17 and 30; October 2 and 6; from October 13 to 16; on October 19; and from October 26 to 28—added November 3 to 5 as an exposure event;
- Diamond Elementary School (18620 56th Avenue), which previously had exposure events from October 1 to 2 and on October 15, had new exposures from November 5 to 6.