COVID-19 in B.C.: New record high number of active cases, as bars and eateries report confirmed cases on premises

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      While the number of new COVID-19 cases has once again surpassed 80, there aren’t any new deaths, or healthcare or community outbreaks. There have been a number of potential coronavirus exposure incidents at food and beverage establishments over the past week, and there is one new flight linked to COVID-19.

      Today, the B.C. government extended the provincial state of emergency once again, this time until September 1, which gives B.C. Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth special powers under the Emergency Program Act.

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix had stated on August 17 that Farnworth would be announcing stricter enforcement measures, in response to the rapidly rising case numbers.

      Daily update: August 11

      Dix and B.C. deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson issued a joint statement for today’s B.C. COVID-19 update.

      They confirmed 83 new cases today. Of those cases, six people are in hospital, which includes three patients in intensive care units.

      There are 775 active cases, and public health is monitoring 2,326 people due to exposure to confirmed cases. That’s an increase of 40 more people since yesterday’s total of 2,286 individuals—and, again, a new record high during the pandemic.

      Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has had a cumulative total of 4,677 cases. That includes 1,447 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health; 2,473 in Fraser Health; 156 in Island Health; 407 in Interior Health; 120 in Northern Health; and 74 cases of people who live outside Canada. 

      As there aren’t any new healthcare outbreaks, there remain active outbreaks in nine longterm care facilities and one acute-care facility. 

      Although there aren’t any new community outbreaks, community exposure incidents continue to occur.

      Thankfully, no one has died over the past 24 hours. Unfortunately, the total number of fatalities is at 198 people who have died during the pandemic. 

      A total of 3,704 people (79 percent) who tested positive have now recovered.

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

      Potential exposure incidents 

      CTV News has listed several Vancouver establishments that have voluntarily self-reported COVID-19 cases on their premises, even though they aren’t on Vancouver Coastal Health's exposure event list. 

      Fitness studio and café TurF announced on August 15 that it voluntarily closed its two locations until further notice as a precaution after an employee from the Kitsilano location (2041 West 4th Avenue) tested positive for the coronavirus.

      The staff member was asymptomatic while at the Kitsilano location from August 4 to 6 and August 9 to 12. TurF also closed its downtown location at 100–1281 West Georgia Street.

      Overlooking English Bay, the Bayside Lounge (1755 Davie Street at Denman Street) announced on August 14 that it would be voluntarily closing until further notice. The second-floor lounge reopened on August 16. Exposure details were not stated.

      Meanwhile, the nearby sports bar Park Pub (1755 Davie Street) also voluntarily closed on August 14 before reopening the next day. Similarly, exposure details were not stated.

      A few doors down at street level, Shamrock Bar and Grill (102–1184 Denman Street) announced on August 14 that a potential exposure incident occurred from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on August 11. The bar has been working with Vancouver Coastal Health and WorkSafeBC, and has conducted a deep clean of the premises.

      Meanwhile, Fraser Health has expanded the dates listed for the potential COVID-19 exposure incident that took place at Surrey’s Hookah Lounge (10609 King George Highhway). The original alert listed midnight on July 31 to 4 a.m. on August 1 and from midnight on August 1 to 5 a.m. on August 2. An additional date of midnight on August 8 to 4 a.m. on August 9 has been added.

      Air travel

      One new domestic flight has been confirmed with COVID-19.

      Anyone in rows 17 to 23 on WestJet flight 141 from Edmonton to Vancouver on August 10 may have been affected.

      Anyone in these seats should monitor for symptoms for 14 days while reducing contact with others. If symptoms appear, immediately self-isolate and call 811 (if in B.C.) to arrange for testing.

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