COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 700 new cases; potential exposure at grad party; active and hospitalized cases increase; and more

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      Active cases resumed increasing across the province today with one exception: active cases in Interior Health continued to decrease. Also, increases in Northern Health and Vancouver Coastal Health remained small.

      Hospitalized cases only slightly increased.

      As the new school year began, concerns about COVID-19 transmision at student-related social events became a concern when some parties at post-secondary instutitions were shut down by police due to public health order violations or concerns. Today, Interior Health announced that there was a potential COVID-19 exposure at a high-school event (see below). 

      There were also two healthcare outbreaks declared over and seven flights with potential public exposures.

      B.C. update: September 16

      Today, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 706 new COVID-19 cases (including three epi-linked cases).

      Currently, there are 5,844 active cases, which is an increase of 53 cases since yesterday.  

      The new and active cases include:

      • 203 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,784 total active cases (40 more cases than yesterday);
      • 213 new cases in Interior Health, with 1,504 total active cases (36 fewer cases than yesterday);
      • 105 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 1,051 total active cases (14 more cases);
      • 104 new cases in Northern Health, with 857 total active cases (eight more cases);
      • 81 new cases in Island Health, with 638 total active cases (23 more cases);
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 10 total active cases (same number as yesterday).

      Sadly, four new deaths have been reported—three in Fraser Health and one in Northern Health. The overall total number of COVID-19-related fatalities is now at 1,877 people who have died.

      Today, there are 291 individuals are in hospital (three more than yesterday) and 134 are in intensive care units (three fewer than yesterday). 

      With 624 recoveries since yesterday, an overall total of 169,083 people who tested positive have now recovered.

      B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 177,186 COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.


      Since December, B.C. has administered 7,658,443 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 86.3 percent (3,998,779) of eligible people 12 and older have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 78.8 percent (3,652,033) received their second dose.

      In addition, 86.8 percent (3,755,686) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 79.7 percent (3,445,951) received their second dose.

      From September 8 to 14, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 76.1 percent of cases and from September 1 to 14 they accounted for 86.4 percent of hospitalizations.

      Out of a total of 4,914 COVID-19 cases from September 8 to 14, there were:

      • unvaccinated 3,347 people (68.1 percent);
      • partially vaccinated 391 people (8 percent);
      • fully vaccinated 1,176 people (23.9 percent).

      Out of a total of 390 hospitalized cases from September 1 to 14, there were:

      • 318 unvaccinated people (81.5 percent);
      • 19 partially vaccinated people (4.9 percent);
      • 53 fully vaccinated people (13.6 percent).

      For cases per 100,000 population (after adjusting for age) from September 8 to 14:

      • 320.9 unvaccinated people;
      • 98.6 partially vaccinated people;
      • 30 fully vaccinated people.

      For hospitalized cases per 100,000 population (after adjusting for age) from September 1 to 14, there were:

      • 44 unvaccinated people;
      • 7.6 partially vaccinated people;
      • 1.2 fully vaccinated people.

      The B.C. Health Ministry stated that after factoring for age, people who are unvaccinated are 35.7 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.

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

      Exposures and outbreaks

      Interior Health issued a news release today to warn anyone who attended a grad party event in Armstrong on September 6 may have been exposed to COVID-19.

      Interior Health stated that a “small number” (specific number not given) of Grade 12 students at Pleasant Valley Secondary School are among the confirmed cases. So far, there hasn’t been any evidence of transmission in school settings, according to the regional health authority.  

      As a precaution, however, students and staff who aren’t fully vaccinated and were potentially exposed are being asked to isolate at home for 10 days.

      Anyone who was at this event is asked to monitor themselves and seek testing if they develop symptoms.

      Northern Health provided an update on the outbreak at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George, which was declared on September 5. Thus far, there has been a total of 27 cases in this outbreak: 20 residents and three staff members have tested positive, with four epi-linked cases of residents. Unfortunately, five residents have died in this outbreak (two of whom were epi-linked).

      The B.C. Health Ministry stated that Interior Health has declared the outbreaks at Nicola Meadows in Merritt and Rose Wood Village in Trail to be over.

      Vancouver Coastal Health lifted restrictions at Opal by Element but has not yet announced that the outbreak there has been declared over.

      Currently, there are 23 active outbreaks in healthcare facilities, including:

      • longterm care: Northcrest Care Centre, Menno Home, Westminster House, Menno Terrace East (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: David Lloyd Jones, Sun Pointe Village, and Hardy View Lodge (Interior Health).

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

      • September 2: WestJet 118, Vancouver to Calgary;
      • September 2: WestJet 3264, Calgary to Vancouver;
      • September 7: Air Canada 247, Edmonton to Vancouver;
      • September 8: Air Canada 304, Vancouver to Montreal;
      • September 10: Harbour Air 802, Nanaimo to Sechelt;
      • September 10: Harbour Air 821, Sechelt to Nanaimo;
      • September 12: WestJet 3241, Calgary to Kamloops.