COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 6,000 active cases; updated Interior Health restrictions; and more

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      Although active and hospitalized cases remained level over the weekend, they resumed climbing again today.

      For a second consecutive day, Fraser Health is reporting more new and active cases than Interior Health. 

      While active cases increased in Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Island Health regions, they decreased in Interior and Northern Health, which have been hotspots of concern over recent weeks.

      Updated Interior Health restrictions

      At yesterday’s in-person briefing, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that Interior Health would be updating its restrictions for the outbreak in the Central Okanagan (declared on July 28) to incorporate the B.C. Vaccine Card.

      Interior Health announced today that, as is the case with the rest of the province, vaccination proof will be required in the region for all events until October 24, with a minimum of one dose. After that, two doses will be required.

      Also, high-intensity group fitness classes will now be permitted in the region—only if all participants and the instructor are immunized with two doses.

      All other fitness classes require vaccination proof of at least one dose until October 24 (after which two doses will be required).

      Restrictions that will remain in place in the B.C. Interior include

      • gatherings in vacation rentals and indoor personal gatherings are limited to five guests or one other household;
      • outdoor personal gatherings limited to 50 people maximum;
      • non-essential travel remains discouraged.

      Alcohol service at food and beverage establishments can resume after 10 p.m. as of today.

      Interior Health stated that the current measures will remain in place until Interior Health sees lower cases numbers and higher vaccination rates.

      B.C. update: September 14

      The B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 677 new COVID-19 cases (including 20 epi-linked cases).

      Currently, there are 6,165 active cases—that’s an increase of 340 cases since yesterday.

      Today, 288 individuals are in hospital, which is 10 more patients than yesterday, and 140 of those individuals are in intensive care units (one more than yesterday).

      The new and active cases include:

      • 237 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,948 total active cases (237 more cases than yesterday);
      • 153 new cases in Interior Health, with 1,583 total active cases (35 fewer cases than yesterday);
      • 102 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 1,030 total active cases (85 more cases);
      • 99 new cases in Northern Health, with 964 total active cases (33 fewer cases);
      • 86 new cases in Island Health, with 627 total active cases (20 more cases);
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 13 total active cases (same number as yesterday).

      Sadly, there is one new death (in Northern Health). The overall total number of COVID-19-related fatalities is now at 1,866 people who have died.

      With 338 recoveries since yesterday, an overall total of 167,416 people have recovered from COVID-19.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 175,819 COVID-19 cases.

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


      Since December, B.C. has administered 7,630,846 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 86 percent (3,985,159) of eligible people 12 and older have received their first dose and 78.5 percent (3,638,404) have received their second dose.

      In addition, 86.5 percent (3,743,344) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 79.4 percent (3,433,492) have received their second dose.

      Outbreak and exposures

      Fraser Health has declared a healthcare facility outbreak at Westminster House in Surrey, where three staff members have tested positive.

      Vancouver Coastal Health has declared the outbreak over at Brock Fahrni in Vancouver, where restrictions were lifted on September 13.

      Currently, there are 24 active outbreaks in healthcare facilities, including:

      • longterm care: Northcrest Care Centre, Menno Home, and Westminster House (Fraser Health); Arbutus Care Centre, 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 14 flights to its lists of potential public exposures:

      • August 31: Flair 150, Abbotsford to Toronto;
      • September 2: WestJet 3366, Kelowna to Edmonton;
      • September 3: Flair 151, Toronto to Abbotsford;
      • September 3: Flair 715, Grand Prairie to Vancouver;
      • September 5: WestJet 705, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • September 6: Swoop 209, Edmonton to Victoria;
      • September 7: Air Canada 129, Toronto to Vancouver;
      • September 7: North Cariboo Air 1545, Terrace to Nanaimo;
      • September 7: Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver;
      • September 9: North Cariboo Air 2012, Fort St. John to Kelowna;
      • September 9: Philippine Airlines 116, Manila to Vancouver;
      • September 9: Swoop 406, Toronto to Abbotsford;
      • September 10: Air Canada 342, Vancouver to Ottawa;
      • September 10: Air Canada/Jazz 8237, Terrace to Vancouver.

      Sobeys listed one employee testing positive, who last worked on September 7, at the Safeway store located at 45610 Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack.

      McDonald’s announced today that it will no longer be updating its list of locations where employees have tested positive, in conjunction with the introduction of vaccine passport programs in most provinces.

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