COVID-19 in B.C.: Three schools and six flights with new exposures, oil sands outbreak, and more

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      The new case count remains high today and numbers in other categories continue to climb.

      But one exception is the number of people in hospital, which has decreased since yesterday.

      Also, after high numbers of schools with COVID-19 exposure events reported over the past few days, the number of schools with new exposures today was significantly lower.

      Meanwhile, there are three healthcare outbreaks; one community outbreak in Alberta that could affect British Columbians; and one restaurant, one store, and six flights have had potential exposure incidents.

      For those hoping to celebrate Halloween tomorrow (October 31), the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has provided some guidelines and tips, as has Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

      Daily update: October 30

      In a joint statement, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 272 new cases (including five epi-linked cases) today.

      Currently, there are 78 hospitalized individuals (which is eight less then yesterday), with 25 of those patients in intensive care (one less than yesterday).

      Active cases continue to increase—with an additional 46 people since yesterday, there are now 2,390 active cases.

      Also continuing to grow are the number of people public health is monitoring—up 289 people from yesterday to 6,003 people today.

      Unfortunately, there are three new healthcare outbreaks:

      • Hawthorne Seniors Care Community (2111 Hawthorne Avenue) in Port Coquitlam;

      • CareLife Fleetwood (8265 159 Street) in Surrey;

      • Queen’s Park Hospital (Unit 3C NMSK 2 at 315 McBride Boulevard) in New Westminster.

      However, healthcare outbreaks at four healthcare facilities have now been declared over:

      • Good Samaritan Victoria Heights in New Westminster;

      • Fort Langley Seniors Community in Langley; 

      The Village in Langley;

      • Sunset Manor in Chilliwack.

      Active outbreaks are at 26 healthcare facilities, including 24 longterm care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities.

      One new community outbreak is at Suncor Firebag Oil Sands in Athabasca, Alberta, which may affect workers travelling to and from B.C.

      Unfortunately, there is one new death, bringing the total fatalities to 263 people who have died during the pandemic.

      A total of 11,670 people who tested positive have now recovered.

      A cumulative total of 14,381 cases have been confirmed in B.C. during the pandemic, including:

      • 8,219 in Fraser Health;

      • 4,664 in Vancouver Coastal Health;

      • 741 in Interior Health;

      • 412 in Northern Health;

      • 256 in Island Health;

      • 89 people from outside Canada.

      Hanaya Japanese Restaurant

      Community exposures

      Fraser Health announced that there has been an exposure incident at Hanaya Japanese Restaurant (106–2828 152nd Street) in Surrey from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on October 16 and 17, and from 4 to 9 p.m. on October 19.

      Loblaw announced today that an employee who last worked at the Kitsilano location of Shoppers Drug Mart at 3020 West Broadway in Vancouver on October 25 has tested positive.

      Meanwhile, the BCCDC has added these six flights confirmed with COVID-19 to its list:

      • October 23: Air Canada flight 123, Toronto to Vancouver;

      • October 24: Air Canada flight 215, Calgary to Vancouver;

      • October 24: Air Canada flight 8198, Vancouver to Kamloops;

      • October 25: Air Canada flight 248, Vancouver to Edmonton;

      • October 25: Air Canada flight 855, London to Vancouver;

      • October 28: Air Canada flight 551, Los Angeles to Vancouver.

      Affected row information is available at the BCCDC website.

      Anyone in the affected rows or on these flights should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after the flight date. If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and call 811 (if in B.C.) or your local healthcare provider for testing information.

      John Norquay Elementary School

      School exposures

      Today, the number of schools with new exposure events was much less than previous days—a total of three schools in the Lower Mainland were added.

      Vancouver Coastal Health added one school: John Norquay Elementary School (4710 Slocan Street) in Vancouver, which had an exposure incident on October 22.

      Fraser Health added two schools with new exposure dates.

      In Coquitlam, Mundy Elementary (2200 Austin Avenue), which previously had an exposure incident on October 6, had new exposures on October 16 and from October 20 to 22.

      In Surrey, Khalsa School Elementary Newton (6933 124th Street), which previously had exposure dates from September 22 to 25, had another exposure event from October 20 to 22.

      Island Health, Interior Health, and Northern Health didn’t have any schools with new exposure events.

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