COVID-19 in B.C.: Health authorities address Fraser Health region, 17 schools and 9 flights with cases, and more
At today’s briefing from B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was joined by Fraser Health CEO and president Dr. Victoria Lee as well as B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, who returned after his absence during the provincial election campaign.
Henry explained that today’s briefing was held in Surrey because the pandemic has been “disproportionately affecting communities in the Fraser Valley”.
Lee pointed out that the Fraser Health region is the most populous regional health authority region with 1.8 million residents. Accordingly, she asked people in the Fraser Health region to reconsider social interactions and stick to their “safe six”—or a consistent six contacts—outside their household.
However, she clarified that people in the Fraser Health region should not be holding gatherings within their homes even with their “safe six” and that they should also reconsider how important it is to have any guests over at all.
Henry emphasized that people should be socializing with their “immediate household only”. In particular, she emphasized that anyone who lives in a multigenerational home or large numbers of people should be avoiding any risky activities, such as going to a gym, fitness classes, or other situations.
She also highlighted the death of an individual in their 80s from the Fraser Health region who had attended a small birthday party, with less than 10 guests. She said the majority of the attendees contracted COVID-19 and the individual who died had been hospitalized.
As Henry said that B.C. is in a “danger zone”, particularly with cough and flu season arising, she emphasized that everyone needs to continue maintaining preventative measures.
However, she pointed out that they have no intent of closing things down. Unlike other provinces that have reintroduced lockdowns, Henry said their intent is to keep as many businesses, essential services, schools, and healthcare systems open (with safety plans in place) as possible.
She added that B.C. Health has conducted outreach to various communities, and she said she appreciates the work that faith leaders are doing across the province.
Fraser Health offers COVID-19 information and posters that can be shared in Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Somali, and Spanish on its website.
Daily update: October 29
Henry announced that there are 234 new cases (including four epi-linked cases) in B.C. today.
Currently, there are 2,344 active cases in B.C., which is an increase of 28 people since yesterday.
At the moment, there are 86 people in hospital (one less than yesterday), with 24 of those patients in intensive care (also one less than yesterday). Dix said there are 46 patients in Fraser Health, 39 patients in Vancouver Coastal Health, and one in Northern Health.
Public health is monitoring 5,714 people who have been exposed to confirmed cases, which is an increase of 356 people since yesterday.
There are five new healthcare outbreaks:
• Lakeview Care Centre (3490 Porter Street) in Vancouver;
• Louis Brier Home and Hospital (1055 W 41st Avenue) in Vancouver;
• The Gateway Assisted Living for Seniors (13787 100 Avenue) in Surrey, where Fraser Health stated one staff member has tested positive;
• Mayfair Terrace Retirement Residence (2267 Kelly Avenue) in Port Coquitlam, where Fraser Health stated that one resident has tested positive;
• Yaletown House (1099 Cambie Street) in Vancouver—this outbreak was announced after the briefing.
The outbreak at Zion Park Manor in Surrey has been declared over.
Active outbreaks are now at 26 healthcare facilities—25 at longterm care facilities and one at an acute care unit. There has been a cumulative total of 1,000 cases (567 residents and 435 staff members) who tested positive in healthcare outbreaks.
Fortunately, there aren’t any new community outbreaks. There also weren’t any new public exposure events by any of the five regional health authorities.
Unfortunately, with the aforementioned one new death, the total number of fatalities is now at 262 people who have died during the pandemic.
A total of 11,448 people have recovered.
A cumulative total of 14,109 cases have been reported during the pandemic, including:
- 8,036 cases in Fraser Health;
- 4,588 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
- 8,036 in Fraser Health;
- 734 in Interior Health;
- 406 in Northern Health;
- 256 in Island Health;
- 89 people from outside of Canada.
Shelter, stores, and air travel
In Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the Union Gospel Mission facility and emergency shelter (601 East Hastings Street) reported five cases at its premises:
• a shelter worker and an outreach worker, who last worked on October 14 and 16 respectively, have both tested positive;
• an outreach staff member, who last worked on October 16, tested positive;
• one staff member, who was last onsite on October 16 and 22, and one community member who had stayed in the shelter on October 22 both tested positive.
Meanwhile, Sobeys announced that an employee who last worked at the FreshCo at 27566 Fraser Highway in Aldergrove on October 20 has tested positive.
Loblaw announced that an employee who last worked at the Shoppers Drug Mart at 6508 East Hastings Street in Burnaby on October 28 has tested positive.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has added these nine flights (seven domestic and two from the U.S.) confirmed with COVID-19 to its list:
- October 16: Alaska Airlines 3302, Seattle to Vancouver;
- October 18: Air Canada 8209, Vancouver to Prince George;
- October 18: Air Canada 8575, Saskatoon to Vancouver;
- October 21: Air Canada 123, Toronto to Vancouver;
- October 21: Air Canada 219, Calgary to Vancouver;
- October 21: Air Canada 295, Winnipeg to Vancouver;
- October 23: Air Canada 314, Vancouver to Montreal;
- October 23: Air Canada 8229, Phoenix to Vancouver;
- October 25: Air Canada 192, Victoria to Toronto.
For affected row information, visit the BCCDC public exposures webpage.
Anyone on these flights should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after the flight dates. If symptoms develop, call 811 (if in B.C.) or your local healthcare provider for testing information.
Three regional health authorities added 17 schools with new exposure dates.
Northern Health added two schools with new exposures to its list:
- Immaculate Conception School (3285 Cathedral Avenue) in Prince George had an exposure event from October 21 to 23;
- Roosevelt Park Elementary School (800 Summit Avenue) in Prince Rupert had exposures from October 21 to 22.
Vancouver Coastal Health added exposure events at four schools to its list.
In Vancouver, three schools had new exposure events:
• Admiral Seymour Elementary School (1130 Keefer Street), which previously had exposures from October 5 to 6, has had new exposures from October 19 to 20;
• École Anne-Hébert Elementary School (7051 Killarney Street)—which previously had exposures on October 15 and 16, and from October 20 to 21—has added October 23 as an exposure date;
• Vancouver College (5401 Hudson Street) which previously had exposures from October 7 to 9 and from October 20 to 21, has added October 22 as an exposure date.
In Richmond, Walter Lee Elementary School (9491 Ash Street) had exposures from October 19 to 21.
Meanwhile, Fraser Health added 11 schools with new exposure events.
in Burnaby, Armstrong Elementary (8757 Armstrong Avenue) had exposures from October 15 to 16 and 19 to 20.
In Port Coquitlam, two schools had new exposures:
- Blakeburn Elementary (1040 Riverside Drive) had an exposure incident on October 21;
- École Coquitlam River Elementary (4250 Shaughnessy Street) had exposures on October 19 and 21;
- École Kwayhquitlum Middle School (3280 Flint Street), which previously had exposures from October 13 to 16 and 19 to 20, has added October 21 to 23.
In Pitt Meadows, Pitt Meadows Secondary (19438 116b Avenue) had exposures from October 15 to 16 and 19 to 21.
In Surrey, five schools had new exposure dates:
- Beaver Creek Elementary (6505 123a Street), which previously had exposures from September 21 to 23 and October 13, has added October 19 as an exposure date;
- Cambridge Elementary (6115 150th Street), which had previous exposures from October 13 to 14 and October 16, has added October 19 to 22 as an exposure event;
- Coyote Creek Elementary (8131 156 Street) had an exposure on October 20;
- Frank Hurt Secondary (13940 77th Avenue) in Surrey—which previously had exposures from October 1 to 2, from October 5 to 9, and from October 13 to 16—had added October 19, 21, and 22 as exposure dates;
- Kwantlen Park Secondary (10441 132 Street), which had previous exposures from October 13 to 14 and on October 21, has added October 22 as an exposure date;
In Abbotsford, the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts (36232 Lower Sumas Mountain Road) had an exposure event from October 19 to 21.