COVID-19 in B.C.: Near record high number of new cases, five schools with exposures, and new healthcare outbreak

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      Although B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said at yesterday’s briefing that case numbers appear to be stabilizing, today’s numbers revealed several increases.

      In addition, there's a new healthcare outbreak, and five schools and two flights were added to exposure incident lists.

      Daily update: October 2

      After several days of new case counts alternately rising above and below the 100-case mark, it’s back up again—and close to a record high.

      In a joint statement, Henry and Deputy Health Minister Stephen Brown announced 161 new cases (including three epi-linked cases). The record number of new cases is 165 cases, which was reported on September 17.

      Active cases increased by 41 people to 1,302 active cases today.

      What has been lowering for a few days is the number of people in hospital, which decreased by six people to 63 individuals now in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care (three less than yesterday).

      Public health is monitoring 3,114 people—an increase of 21 people from yesterday.

      Tragically, there have been three new deaths. The total number of fatalities during the pandemic is now at 238 people who have died.

      A new healthcare outbreak has been declared at Surrey Memorial Hospital (13750 96 Avenue). This is the second outbreak for this facility, as one had previously been declared on September 2.

      Meanwhile, outbreaks at Yaletown House and Peach Arch Hospital have been declared over.

      Active outbreaks remain at 14 longterm care facilities and three acute care facilities.

      There aren’t any new community outbreaks.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has confirmed a cumulative total of 9,381 cases, which includes:

      • 4,791 in Fraser Health;
      • 3,440 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health;
      • 535 in Interior Health;
      • 318 in Northern Health;
      • 209 in Island Health;
      • 88 people who live outside of Canada.

      A total of 7,813 people have now recovered from COVID-19.

      Weekly surveillance report: September 25 to October 1

      The weekly report from the B.C. Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) revealed that there were some decreases among case numbers this week compared to the previous week.

      The number of new cases reported this week (677) decreased in comparison to the previous week (880), as did the number of active cases (1,261), which was also lower than the previous week (1,371).

      Although the number of new hospitalized admissions have been stabilizing over the past few weeks, the number of people currently in hospital has been on the increase, particularly over the past four days.

      Champlain Heights Elementary

      School exposures

      No school outbreaks have taken place but four more schools were added to school exposure lists. (For clarification of the difference between school exposure incidents, clusters, and outbreaks, see this article for Henry's explanation.)

      Vancouver Coastal Health added two schools in Vancouver—Champlain Heights Elementary (6955 Frontenac Street), with potential exposure dates from September 22 to 24; and Aries Program (1618 East Hastings Street), with potential exposure dates on September 17, 18, 22, 24, and 28.

      Fraser Health added three schools to its list.

      One was Gordon Greenwood Elementary (9175 206 Street) in Langley, which had an exposure incident from September 29 to October 1.

      In Surrey, there were two schools added: École K.B. Woodward (13130 106 Avenue), which  had an exposure incident on September 18 and 21 to 23; and Khalsa School Elementary Newton (6933 124th Street), with exposure dates from September 22 to 25.

      Previously, the Khalsa elementary school at Old Yale Road and Khalsa Secondary School had exposure incidents reported on September 17.

      Khalsa School Newton


      The BCCDC added two flights confirmed with COVID-19 to its list.

      One was Air Canada flight 8418 from Vancouver to Kelowna on September 23.

      The other was Air Canada flight 855 from London, U.K., to Vancouver on September 23.

      Affected rows weren’t reported for either flight.

      Anyone on these flights should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. Those in B.C. who do develop symptoms should immediately self-isolate and call 811 for testing information.

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