COVID-19 in B.C.: 17 schools with new exposures, Chilliwack superspreader outbreak, and more

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      While today’s new case count is lower than the past three consecutive days—which all had exceptionally high new case counts (with a record high of 389 new cases set on November 1)—today’s count is still higher than the previous record of 274 cases.

      Active, hospitalized, and monitored cases either continued to increase or have increased since yesterday.

      There are also 17 schools with new exposure dates; five flights, one store, and one restaurant with confirmed cases; and a community outbreak was declared at a dance studio.

      Meanwhile, Fraser Health announced today that it is opening a second testing centre at 10025 King George Boulevard, near the Central City Shopping Centre in North Surrey, on November 12.

      This new site will offer walk-in testing seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will process between 500 and 800 tests per day.  

      Drive-through testing will remain available at the Newton test collection centre located at 14577 66th Avenue in Surrey. 

      In addition, Canada's public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam is now recommending that people should wear non-medical masks with three layers, which should include a middle layer that is a filter. She explained that the filter can add another layer of protection, particularly as people increasingly spend time indoors during the fall and winter seasons.

      More information is available at Canada's public health website. 

      B.C. deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson
      Province of British Columbia

      COVID-19 update: November 3

      In a joint statement, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 299 new cases (including four epi-linked cases) in B.C. today.

      The number of active cases continue to climb and has risen past the 3,000 case mark. Currently, there are 3,017 active cases, which is an increase of 72 people since yesterday.

      Public health is monitoring 6,888 people due to exposure to confirmed cases—that an increase of 440 people since yesterday.

      Today, there are 92 individuals are in hospital (two more than yesterday), with 22 of those patients in intensive care (three more people than yesterday).

      There’s one new healthcare facility outbreak at the Belvedere Care Centre (739 Alderson Avenue) in Coquitlam. Fraser Health confirmed today that one resident has tested positive and is now in self-isolation.

      Active outbreaks are at 29 healthcare facilities—27 longterm care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities.

      Unfortunately, there are three new COVID-19-related deaths—the total number of fatalities during the pandemic is now at 272 deaths.

      A total of 12,430 people have now recovered.

      The cumulative total COVID-19 cases confirmed during the pandemic in B.C. is now at 15,800 cases, which includes:

      • 9,234 cases in Fraser Health;

      • 4,993 in Vancouver Coastal Health;

      • 788 in Interior Health;

      • 425 in Northern Health;

      • 270 in Island Health;

      • 90 people from outside Canada.

      Bow and Stern

      Community exposures and outbreaks

      Loblaw announced that an employee who last worked at the Real Canadian Superstore (7550 King George Highway) in Surrey on October 29 has tested positive.

      Fraser Health listed the restaurant Bow and Stern (2551 Montrose Avenue) in Abbotsford as having an exposure event that included from 5 to 10 p.m. on October 24, from 3 to 10 p.m. on October 25, and from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on October 26.

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has added five flights confirmed with COVID-19 to its list, with affected row information available at its website:

      • October 25: Air Canada 107, Toronto to Vancouver;

      • October 25: Air Canada 118, Vancouver to Toronto;

      • October 26: Air Canada 222, Vancouver to Calgary;

      • October 28: WestJet 253, Calgary to Kelowna;

      • October 30: Air Canada 551, Los Angeles to Vancouver.

      Anyone in the affected rows (or on these flights) should watch for symptoms for 14 days following the flight date and immediately self-isolate if symptoms develop while calling 811 (if in B.C.) or your local healthcare provider about testing. 

      As previously reported, Fraser Health declared an outbreak on November 2 at the Capella Dance Academy (Unit 3 and 4 at 7949 Venture Place) in Chilliwack. At the time of the announcement, 26 individuals had tested positive. Global News reported today that the number of cases is now up to 30 people.

      The dance school voluntarily closed on October 28.

      CBC News reported that health officials confirmed that the outbreak is being considered a super-spreader event.

      Fraser Health is also working with the Chilliwack and Fraser-Cascades school districts to inform staff and students of any potential exposures. In Chilliwack, early notification letters about the outbreak were sent on November 1 to the following 10 schools in Chilliwack and one school in Hope:

      • A.D. Rundle Middle;
      • Chilliwack Middle;
      • Chilliwack Secondary;
      • G.W. Graham Secondary;
      • Little Mountain Academy;
      • Rosedale Traditional;
      • Sardis Secondary;
      • Unsworth Elementary;
      • Vedder Elementary;
      • Vedder Middle;
      • Hope Secondary in Hope. 
      Terry Fox Secondary

      School exposures

      Two regional health authorities in the Lower Mainland added 17 schools with new exposure dates to their lists.

      Fraser Health had 10 schools with new exposures.

      In Chilliwack, two schools had new exposure dates:

      École La Vérendrye (6610 Lickman Road) had exposures on October 22 and from October 27 to 28.

      • Unity Christian (50950 Hack Brown Road) had exposures on October 20 to 22 and October 26.

      In Burnaby, Burnaby Central Secondary School (6011 Deer Lake Parkway), which had a previous exposure event from October 13 to 16, has had new exposures from October 20 to 22.

      in Coquitlam, two schools had new exposure dates:

      • Coquitlam Alternate Basic Education (1411 Foster Avenue) had exposures on October 23 and 26;
      • Gleneagle Secondary (1195 Lansdowne Drive) had exposures on October 22 and from October 26 to 28.

      In Port Coquitlam, Terry Fox Secondary (1260 Riverwood Gate) had exposures from October 26 to 29.

      In Langley, Walnut Grove Secondary (8919 Walnut Grove Drive) had exposures from October 20 to 22.

      In Maple Ridge, three schools had exposure incidents:

      • Garibaldi Secondary (24789 Dewdney Trunk Road), which previously had exposures from October 19 to 20, has added October 26 and 27 as additional exposure dates.

      • Samuel Robertson Technical (10445 245 Street) had an exposure event from October 26 to 27;

      • Thomas Haney Secondary (23000 116 Avenue) had an exposure incident on October 26.

      Lord Strathcona Elementary

      Meanwhile, Vancouver Coastal Health added new dates for seven schools.

      Five schools were in Vancouver:

      • Lord Strathcona Elementary (592 East Pender Street) had an exposure incident on October 30;
      • Renfrew Elementary School (3315 East 22nd Avenue) had exposures from October 27 to 28;
      • Lord Tennyson Elementary (1936 West 10th Avenue), which had previous exposures from September 29 to 30, had an exposure event from October 19 to 28;
      • John Oliver Secondary School (530 East 41st Avenue), which had a previous exposure on October 9, had an additional exposure on October 26;
      • St. John’s School (2215 West 10th Avenue) had an exposure event from October 26 to 28.

      Two schools were in North Vancouver:

      • Sutherland Secondary School (1860 Sutherland Avenue) had an exposure event from October 27 to 28;
      • Highlands Elementary School (3150 Colwood Drive) had an exposure event from October 26 to 28.
      Sutherland Secondary
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.