COVID-19 in B.C.: B.C. passes 10,000 case mark, and six schools with exposures in Vancouver, West Van, and Burnaby

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      At today’s B.C. COVID-19 briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry acknowledged that B.C. surpassed the 10,000th case mark for people diagnosed with COVID-19 during the pandemic, and said that it is a threshold that “makes us pause”.

      “We know that that’s an underrepresentation of the impact of this virus and that there have been more people, particularly early on when our access to testing was limited, who have been affected with this virus,” she said.

      In examining numbers from daily reports, she pointed out that although new case counts over 100 may seem like a lot, the increase in case numbers have been gradual and that “it wasn’t that rapidly accelerating increase that we’ve seen in some other places in the world”.

      She said there has also been a gradual increase and levelling of people in hospitals and intensive care units, which she has said several times that are areas they monitor very carefully.

      “Early on in this pandemic, we didn’t know a lot about how this virus spread,” she said. “We were concerned it was spreading in healthcare settings in particular and that could overwhelm them, and that would have effects on people in our community.”

      Unlike SARS, which she explained they were able to eradicate from communities, she said COVID-19 will be with us “for some time”.

      Daily update: October 8

      Henry announced that there are 110 new cases (including one epi-linked cases) in B.C. today.

      Active cases slightly increased by seven cases to 1,394 active cases today.

      Five more people were admitted to hospital for a current total of 76 hospitalized cases, with 17 of those patients in intensive care units (two more than yesterday).

      The total number of cases in hospital include 37 people in Fraser Health, 35 patients in Vancouver Coastal Health, one person in Interior Health, and one individual in Northern Health.

      Public health is monitoring 3,139 people, which is up 97 individuals from yesterday.

      The good news is that there aren’t any new community or healthcare outbreaks.

      Also, Interior Health has declared the community outbreak at the Fording River site of the Teck Coal mine in Elkford, B.C., as over. (In September, the Newfoundland and Labrador government had asked all workers returning from the B.C. mine to their province after August 31 to remain isolated for 14 days.)

      The outbreak at Milieu Children and Family Services Society community-living facility in Surrey has also been declared over, leaving 17 active healthcare outbreaks (14 in longterm care facilities and three acute care units).

      A total number of 900 cases (528 residents and 372 staff) have been involved in healthcare outbreaks during the pandemic.

      Unfortunately, there is one new death. The total number of fatalities is now at 245 people who have died.

      A cumulative total of 10,066 cases have been confirmed in the province during the pandemic, including:

      • 5,174 cases in Fraser Health;
      • 3,693 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 557 cases in Interior Health;
      • 330 in Northern Health;
      • 223 in Island Health;
      • 89 people who live outside Canada.

      A total number of 8,398 people have recovered.

      Charles Dickens Elementary School

      School and flight exposures

      Vancouver Coastal Health has added five schools to its exposure incident list and one school has an added exposure date.

      In Vancouver, two schools were added:

      • Charles Dickens Elementary (1010 East 17th Avenue), with a potential exposure on October 2;
      • Sir Charles Tupper Secondary (419 East 24th Avenue) with an exposure incident from October 1 to 2.

      In West Vancouver, two schools have been added and a third school had an added date:

      • Hollyburn Elementary (1329 Duchess Avenue), which had a potential exposure on October 2;
      • the Wentworth Campus of Collingwood School (2605 Wentworth Avenue) had potential exposures on September 30, and October 1, 2, and 6.
      • Sentinel Secondary (1250 Chartwell Drive), which had previously announced exposure dates of September 14 to 18, has an added date of September 21.

      In the Sea to Sky region, Garibaldi Highlands Elementary (2590 Portree Way) in Garibaldi Highlands had potential exposures on September 24, 25, 29, 30, and October 1.

      Meanwhile, Fraser Health added one school to its list.

      In Burnaby, St. Helen’s Elementary School (3894 Triumph Street) had an exposure incident on September 25 and September 28 to October 1. 

      When it comes to air travel, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has added two flights confirmed with COVID-19 to its list.

      One is WestJet flight 320 from Vancouver to Edmonton on September 27. Rows 23 to 29 are listed as affected.

      The other is WestJet flight 132 from Vancouver to Calgary on October 1. Affected seats are in rows 14 to 20.

      Anyone in the affected rows should watch themselves for symptoms for 14 days following the flight date. If in B.C., call 811 about testing and immediately self-isolate if symptoms develop.

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