COVID-19 in B.C.: New cases hit near record high, First Nation on Vancouver Island reports first case, and more

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      One day after B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry appealed to the public to help bring our COVID-19 curve down during a critical juncture prior to fall, the province has risen close to a record number of new cases—one that follows a few other high counts over the past few weeks.

      In a joint statement, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Henry announced today (September 4) that there are 121 new cases (including five epi-linked cases). The last record high for new cases reported in one day was on August 28 when 124 new cases were reported.

      For the first time in several days, the number of hospitalized has decreased—there are 31 people in hospital (down from 34 people yesterday), with 12 of those patients in intensive care units.

      Active cases continue to rise—currently, there are 1,233 active cases, which is up 58 cases from 1,175 cases yesterday.

      Public health is monitoring 2,792 people, which is down from  2,801 people yesterday.

      One new healthcare outbreak was announced at the assisted-living facility at KinVillage in South Delta. Fraser Health region stated that one staff member tested positive.

      Active outbreaks are taking place in 10 longterm care facilities and two acute-care facilities.

      There aren’t any new community outbreaks.

      Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council president Judith Sayers

      However on September 3, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council confirmed its first case. According to CTV News, the case is at the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation reserve land in Gold River on Vancouver Island.

      “Having a damaging case of COVID on reserve is what we have been working against for some months now,” Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council president Judith Sayers stated in a news release. “This is a critical situation.”

      Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council vice-president Mariah Charleson added that they are calling upon the B.C. government for further assistance.

      “Despite all our efforts to have B.C. meet our basic health requirements, we have not been able to find viable solutions,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for Premier Horgan and B.C. to step up to the challenge and practice true reconciliation; we demand action.“

      One new death was announced, bringing the total fatalities to 211 people who have died of COVID-19-related causes during the pandemic.

      A cumulative total of 6,162 cases have been reported during the pandemic, including  2,077 in Vancouver Coastal Health; 3,201 in Fraser Health; 180 in Island Health; 451 in Interior Health; 174 in Northern Health; and 79 cases among people who live outside Canada.

      A total of 4,706 people have now recovered.

      According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) surveillance report for August 29 to September 3, the number of new cases reported this week (669) increased by 122 cases from the previous week (547 cases).

      Over 90 of new cases last week were in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions.

      In addition, active cases (1,175) also increased compared to last week (906).

      The BCCDC stated that the number of cases among 10 to 29 year olds continues to increase while all other age groups remained either stable or decreased.

      Province of British Columbia

      Meanwhile, the BCCDC also confirmed five more flights (two international, three domestic) with COVID-19:

      • August 21: WestJet flight 706 from Vancouver to Toronto (rows 22 to 28 affected);

      • August 25: Lufthansa flight 492 from Frankfurt, Germany, to Vancouver (rows 34 to 40 affected);

      • August 26: KLM flight 681 from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Vancouver (affected rows not reported);

      • August 29: Flair flight 8417 from Vancouver to Fort McMurray (rows 15 to 21 affected);

      • August 30: Air Canada flight 251 from Edmonton to Vancouver (rows 18 to 24 affected).

      Anyone on these flights or in the specified rows should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after the flight date. If symptoms appear, immediately self-isolate and call 811 (if in B.C.) to inquire about testing.

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