COVID-19 in B.C.: Almost 2,000 new cases; third doses; mandatory healthcare vaccinations; 35 flights; and more

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      Both active and hospitalized cases slightly decreased, remaining roughly level with September 10.

      In addition, active cases decreased in all health regions, except for Island Health. 

      Of concern though, there were nine deaths and there's a new healthcare outbreak. 

      At an in-person briefing today, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made some announcements about vaccinations regarding healthcare workers as well as immunocompromised people.

      Vaccination changes

      The B.C. Vaccine Card is now in effect.

      As of today (September 13), proof of one dose of vaccine is required in order to enter a list of social and recreational events and settings, such as restaurants, nightlife, movie theatres, concerts, art and sports events, gyms, and more.

      Henry also said that Interior Health restrictions for the outbreak in the Central Okanagan will be revised to incorporate the vaccine card.

      Last week, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) started recommending a third dose for severely immunocompromised people last week, as they may not have responded adequately to the previous two doses, Henry explained.

      Henry said they have identified 300,000 people in B.C. who have medical conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 (these people were prioritized to receive previous vaccinations).

      Within this group are 15,000 people who are severely immunocompromised who will receive invitations for their third dose. Henry said this group includes:

      • organ transplant recipients;
      • those receiving treatment for hematologic cancers and lymphoma;
      • those taking anti-CD20 medications or B-cell-depleting agents, which suppress immune systems;
      • people born with severe primary immuno-deficiencies;
      • bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients.

      She said this third dose is limited to those who receive invitations to do so.

      Henry also said that there are 120,000 people who are moderately immunocompromised—she explained that they are still reviewing data and will provide an update for this second group later this month or in October.

      A third immunocompromised group, she said, is the majority, who have a strong immune response to the vaccine.

      Regarding vaccinations for healthcare workers, immunizations were previously mandatory only for healthcare workers in longterm care facilities.

      Today, Henry announced she will issue a new order to make vaccinations a condition of employment for all workers at healthcare facilities across B.C., effective as of October 26.

      She said those healthcare workers who choose to remain unimmunized will be put on leave without pay.

      B.C. update: September 10 to 13

      The B.C. Health Ministry stated that today’s total and new case numbers are provisional due to a delayed data refresh.

      So for now, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 1,984 new COVID-19 cases from the past three time periods.

      • September 10 to 11: 823 new cases;
      • September 11 to 12: 641 new cases;
      • September 12 to 13: 520 new cases.

      Currently, there are 5,825 active cases, which is a decrease of 25 cases.  

      Today, 278 individuals are in hospital (three fewer than September 10) and 139 of those patients are in intensive care units (four fewer than September 10).

      B.C. Health Minister said that 121 of ICU patients today are unvaccinated people. He added that of the 38 of those patients who are under 50 years of age, 37 of them are unvaccinated.

      The new and active cases include:

      • 609 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,711 total active cases (39 fewer cases than September 10);
      • 542 new cases in Interior Health, with 1,618 total active cases (210 fewer cases);
      • 319 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 945 total active cases (seven fewer cases);
      • 294 new cases in Northern Health, with 931 total active cases (149 fewer cases);
      • 220 new cases in Island Health, with 607 total active cases (68 more cases);
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 13 total active cases (same number as yesterday).

      Over the weekend, nine deaths were reported.  

      The new deaths include:

      • three people in Fraser Health;
      • three people in Interior Health;
      • two people in Island Health;
      • one person in Vancouver Coastal Health.

      The overall total number of fatalities is now at 1,865 people who have died of COVID-19-related reasons.

      With 2,051 recoveries since yesterday, a cumulative total of 167,078 people who tested positive have now recovered.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 175,142 cases.

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

      Vaccinations

      Since December, B.C. has administered 7,618,453 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 85.8 percent (3,978,624) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose and 78.4 percent (3,632,547) received their second dose.

      In addition, 86.4 percent (3,737,364) of all eligible adults have received their first dose and 79.3 percent (3,428,060) received their second dose.

      From September 3 to 9, unvaccinated people accounted for 77.8 percent of cases and from August 27 to September 9, they accounted for 86.2 percent of hospitalizations.

      Out of a total of 4,779 COVID-19 cases from September 3 to 9, there were:

      • 3,305 unvaccinated people (69.2 percent);
      • 411 partially vaccinated people (8.6 percent);
      • 1,063 fully vaccinated people (22.2 percent).

      Out of a total of 348 hospitalized cases from August 27 to September 9, there were:

      • 282 unvaccinated people (81 percent);
      • 18 partially vaccinated people (5.2 percent);
      • 48 fully vaccinated previous (13.8 percent).

      For cases per 100,000 population (after adjusting for age) from September 3 to 9, there were:

      • 306.3 unvaccinated people;
      • 92.9 partially vaccinated people;
      • 27.4 fully vaccinated people.

      For cases hospitalized per 100,000 population (after adjusting for age) from August 27 to September 9:

      • 38.4 unvaccinated people;
      • 7 partially vaccinated people;
      • 1.1 fully vaccinated people.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      None of the five health regions declared any new community outbreaks, and didn’t list any new business closures or public exposure events.

      Interior Health has declared a new healthcare outbreak at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail.

      Currently, there are 24 active outbreaks, including:

      • longterm care: Northcrest Care Centre, Menno Home (Fraser Health); Arbutus Care Centre, Brock Fahrni, Louis Brier Home and Hospital, Opal by Element (Vancouver Coastal Health); Village at Mill Creek, Cottonwoods Care Centre, Brookhaven Care Centre, Spring Valley Care Centre, Kamloops Seniors Village, Hillside Village, The Hamlets at Westsyde, Joseph Creek Care Village (Interior Health); Sunset Lodge (Island Health); and Jubilee Lodge (Northern Health);
      • acute care: Chilliwack General Hospital (Fraser Health); Fort St. John Hospital (Northern Health); and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (Interior Health);
      • assisted or independent living: Nicola Meadows, David Lloyd Jones, Sun Pointe Village, Hardy View Lodge and Rose Woods Village (Interior Health).

      The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following 35 flights to its lists of potential public exposures:

      • August 28: Flair 400, Vancouver to Calgary;
      • August 29: Air Canada 221, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • August 30: Air Canada 308, Vancouver to Montreal;
      • August 31: Air Canada/Jazz 8111, Denver to Vancouver;
      • August 31: Flair 401, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • September 1: Alaska Airlines 176, Juneau to Vancouver;
      • September 1: Alaska Airlines 176, Vancouver to Seattle;
      • September 1: WestJet3298, Prince George to Vancouver;
      • September 2: Air Canada/Jazz 8485, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • September 2: Air Canada 129, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • September 3: Flair 447, Edmonton to Kelowna;
      • September 4: Air Canada 997, Mexico City to Vancouver;
      • September 4: WestJet707, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • September 5: Turkish 75, Istanbul to Vancouver;
      • September 5: WestJet 173, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • September 5: Pacific Coastal Airlines 701, Vancouver to Campbell River;
      • September 5: WestJet 173, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • September 6: Air Canada 292, Vancouver to Winnipeg;
      • September 6: Air Canada/Jazz 8229, Phoenix to Vancouver;
      • September 6: WestJet 543, Montreal to Vancouver;
      • September 6: WestJet 1789, Las Vegas to Vancouver;
      • September 6: WestJet 3106, Terrace to Vancouver;
      • September 6: WestJet 3330, Vancouver to Kelowna;
      • September 6: Air Canada 245, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • September 6: Air Canada 289, Terrace to Vancouver;
      • September 6: Flair 8201, Montreal to Vancouver;
      • September 6: Flair 8604, Edmonton to Abbotsford;
      • September 6: WestJet280, Kelowna to Calgary;
      • September 8: Air Canada 123, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • September 8: Air Canada/Jazz 8544, Vancouver to Winnipeg;
      • September 8: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
      • September 8: North Cariboo 1541, Terrace to Vancouver;
      • September 8: Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • September 9: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver;
      • September 9: WestJet3314, Kamloops to Calgary.

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