COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 100 new cases daily for four days in a row, four healthcare outbreaks, 14 flights with cases

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      As B.C. teachers returned to schools today (September 8) to prepare for the arrival of students on Thursday (September 10), COVID-19 case numbers continued to rapidly climb over the long weekend. Numbers have increased in all categories, including new cases, active cases, monitored people, and deaths.

      In addition, there are four new healthcare outbreaks.

      Consequently, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced changes to her health orders at today’s B.C. COVID-19 update.

      She ordered all nightclubs and banquet halls to close, effective immediately, until further notice. In addition, alcohol service must end at 10 p.m. and the volume background music will be limited to conversation level so that patrons don’t have to shout to be heard. (For full details, see this article.)

      “We need to all start thinking—rethinking—about what we need to do to get us through the next few months, as a community together,” she said.

      Daily update: September 4 to 8

      Today, Henry provided updates for the past four time periods since the last update on September 4.

      Including the 121 new cases previously reported on September 4, B.C. has had four consecutive days of reporting over 100 new cases daily.

      Henry announced there were 123 new cases from September 4 to 5, 116 new cases from September 5 to 6, 107 new cases from September 6 to 7, and 83 new cases from September 7 to 8, for a total of 429 new cases (including 12 epi-linked cases) over the long weekend.

      There are now 1,386 active cases, with 32 people in hospital (12 of those patients are intensive care units). That’s an increase of 153 cases from 1,233 active cases on September 4.

      Public health is monitoring 3,063 people (there were 2,792 people last reported on September 4).

      Unfortunately, there are two new deaths, bringing the total to 213 fatalities during the pandemic.

      A cumulative total of 6,591 cases have been reported in B.C. during the pandemic. So far, there have been 2,249 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 3,428 cases in Fraser Health, 184 in Island Health, 460 in Interior Health, 186 in Northern Health, and 84 cases among people from outside Canada.

      A total number of 4,978 people (76 percent) have now recovered.

      Province of British Columbia

      Healthcare outbreaks

      Henry announced three new healthcare outbreaks.

      One is at Burnaby Hospital (3935 Kincaid Street) in Fraser Health.

      A second is also in Burnaby, at the Rideau Retirement Centre (1850 Rosser Avenue) in Fraser Health.

      A third is at Holy Family Hospital (7801 Argyle Street) in Vancouver, where a previous large outbreak was declared over on August 30. Henry said there is a single case there at the moment. Restrictions were imposed on September 5 as a result of this new outbreak,

      In addition, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) also has added the Royal Arch Masonic Home (7850 Champlain Avenue) in Vancouver on its list of healthcare outbreaks, with restrictions having been imposed on September 5.

      Currently, there are now 15 active outbreaks in healthcare, which is the largest number of such outbreaks in recent months. There are 12 outbreaks in longterm care facilities and three in acute care facilities. A total of 753 cases (458 residents and 295 staff members) have been involved in healthcare outbreaks during the pandemic.

      Cabana Lounge

      Community exposure incidents

      While school is about to begin, Global News reported today that an exposure incident took place at Mulgrave School, a private K-12 school in West Vancouver. However, the incident did not take place on school grounds—it  occurred while Grad 9 students and staff were at an offsite day camp. VCH has reportedly told a small group of teachers and students to self-isolate for 14 days.

      In addition to Henry's order for nightclubs to close, VCH announced three COVID-19 exposure events that all took place at nightclubs in the Granville Entertainment district.

      One was at the Compound/Heaven (1026 Granville Street) from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the evening of August 29.

      The second was at Studio Lounge and Nightclub (919 Granville Street) during operating hours on August 28.

      A third was at Cabana Lounge (1159 Granville Street) during operating hours on August 28.

      Meanwhile, the West Vancouver Police Department announced today that it had to shut down a party with over 200 people at a property in the British Properties, due to health violations.

      Air travel

      Over the weekend, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control added the following 14 flights as confirmed with COVID-19 cases:

      • August 21: Air Canada flight 8570 from Vancouver to Regina;

      • August 23: Air Canada flight 8569 from Regina to Vancouver;

      • August 23: Air Transat flight 932 from Toronto to Vancouver;

      • August 24: WestJet flight 165 from Edmonton to Vancouver;

      • August 26: WestJet flight 164 from Vancouver to Edmonton;

      • August 28: Air India flight 1143 from Delhi to Vancouver;

      • August 29: Air Transat flight 931 from Vancouver to Toronto;

      • August 30: WestJet flight 709 from Toronto to Vancouver;

      • August 31: Air Canada flight 123 from Toronto to Vancouver;

      • August 31: Air Canada flight 575 from Los Angeles to Vancouver;

      • September 1: United Airlines flight U375 from San Francisco to Vancouver;

      • September 1: Air Canada flight 107 from Toronto to Vancouver;

      • September 1: WestJet flight 709 from Toronto to Vancouver;

      •September 2: Flair flight 8418 from Toronto to Vancouver.

      For information about affected rows, visit the BCCDC website.

      Anyone in affected rows or on these flights should monitor themselves for 14 days after the flight date while minimizing contact with others. Anyone who does develop symptoms should call 811 to arrange for testing while immediately self-isolating.

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