COVID-19 in B.C.: Five more schools, new healthcare outbreak, hospitalized cases stabilizing, and more

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      While case numbers remain at relatively high levels, there are some small indications that may indicate potential for slowing down the province's upward climb if similar numbers can be maintained in the coming days and weeks ahead.

      That said, there is one new healthcare outbreak, five more schools reporting exposure incidents, and other areas of concern.

      Daily update: September 25

      B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Deputy Health Minister Stephen Brown issued a joint statement for today’s B.C. COVID-19 update.

      After 148 new cases were reported yesterday, today’s count was comparatively lower, at 98 new cases (which includes one epi-linked case).

      Hospitalizations are about the same as yesterday, with 62 individuals currently in hospital, and 19 of those patients in intensive care.

      A good sign is that the number of active cases has once again decreased—from 1,371 cases yesterday to 1,349 active cases today, or 22 less people.

      Public health is monitoring 3,533 people. Again, it’s an increase of 116 people from yesterday.

      Fraser Health has declared a new healthcare facility outbreak at the Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey. Meanwhile, the outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital is now over.

      Healthcare outbreaks are active at 10 longterm care or assisted-living facilities and four acute-care facilities.

      In Vancouver Coastal Health, that includes:

      • Banfield Pavilion longterm care facility;

      • Point Grey Private Hospital longterm care facility;

      • Yaletown House longterm care facility.

      In Fraser Health, that includes:

      • Cherington Place longterm care facility;

      • Evergreen Hamlets longterm care facility;

      • Kin Village assisted-living facility;

      • Milieu Children and Family Services Society community-living facility;

      • New Vista Care Home longterm care facility;

      • Rideau Retirement Centre independent-living facility;

      • Peace Portal Seniors Village longterm care facility.

      Regional health authorities did not declare any new community outbreaks.

      Unfortunately, there is one new death, bringing the total fatalities to 230 deaths.

      A cumulative total of 8,641 cases have been reported in B.C. during the pandemic, including:

      • 4,412 cases in Fraser Health;

      • 3,127 in Vancouver Coastal Health;

      • 522 in Interior Health;

      • 289 in Northern Health;

      • 204 in Island Health;

      • 87 people who live outside Canada.

      A total of 7,036 people have now recovered.

      Weekly surveillance: September 18 to 24

      According to the BCCDC’s weekly surveillance report, the number of new cases reported this week (880 cases) was higher in comparison to the week prior (833 cases for September 11 to 17).

      What’s encouraging, however, is that there was a major drop in active cases this week.

      The number of active cases this week (1,371 cases) dercreased by 334 people the previous week’s count (1,705 individuals).

      In addition, the BCCDC stated that the number of new hospital admissions and those in ICUs have been stabilizing over the past few weeks.

      The majority of cases lean towards younger people. The average age for cases is 38 years, which has dropped from 55 years at the beginning of the pandemic.

      School exposures

      Five more schools have been listed with COVID-19 exposures.

      One day after Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) issued a joint statement with Henry to address concerns about why its policy for publicly reporting schools with cases differ from the other four regional health authorities, VCH has now added four schools to its list.

      Previously there were only two, but it has since added:

      • L’École des Navigateurs (8580 Kilgour Place) in Richmond, with a potential exposure date of September 14;
      • Mamquam Elementary (40266 Government Road) in Garibaldi Highlands, with potential exposures on September 11 and 16 to 18;
      • Signal Hill Elementary (1410 Pemberton Portage Road) in Pemberton on September 21;
      • Caulfeild Elementary (4685 Keith Road) in West Vancouver, with potential exposures on September 16 to 18, and September 21 and 23;

      Fraser Health has added Yennadon Elementary (23347 128 Avenue) in Maple Ridge, with a potential exposure on September 21.

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