British Columbia is in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared on Monday.
“One can say that we are in our second wave here of our COVID-19 storm in B.C., but we have control over what that wave looks like, and we have shown that we can do that,” said Henry, as she reported 499 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths over the previous three days.
“Encouragingly, we in B.C. are not seeing exponential growth. We do have more people in hospital than we did a few weeks ago, but that has also stabilized. We need, however, to make sure that we are doing what we can to avoid a steep and sudden increase in new cases that we have seen in other parts of Canada, in our neighbouring countries and around the world.”
Henry said there were 1,639 active cases of the disease, of which 67 were being treated in hospital including 19 in intensive care. One of the deaths over the weekend was at the Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey.
Henry said B.C. was “holding its own” and not seeing exponential growth in COVID-19 while a second wave sweeps the rest of the world.
There have been 11,687 cases of COVID-19 reported in B.C. since the first case appeared in late January and 253 deaths.
Henry said there were four outbreaks declared in long-term care facilities over the weekend — at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, The Village Langley, Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in Surrey and the Royal Arch Masonic Home in Vancouver, where an outbreak earlier in the pandemic claimed 12 lives.
There are 19 active outbreaks in the health-care sector, including 17 at long-term care facilities and two in acute care facilities.
So far 396 staff at long-term care facilities have contracted the disease.
Henry said a community outbreak had been declared at J&L Beef Ltd. in Surrey.
On Monday, school exposures were reported at Heritage Woods Secondary in Port Moody, John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver, Ecole Pauline Johnson Elementary in West Vancouver and Martha Jane Norris Elementary, Beaver Creek Elementary, Frank Hurt Secondary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary (all in Surrey.)
There have been 199 school exposures reported since the second week of September, of which at least 75 are still active.
Also Monday, Loblaws Canada reported a possible COVID-19 exposure threat at a No Frills grocery store in Langley.
The company says a staff member at Michael’s No Frills, at 204th Street, has tested positive for COVID-19.
The staff member last worked at the store on Oct. 12.
It’s the second Loblaws location to be hit with a COVID-19 case in the last two weeks.
A staff member at Vancouver’s Real Canadian Superstore on Marine Drive tested positive on Oct. 11. Their last shift was on Oct. 7.
Sobeys says an employee at a Penticton Safeway tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 13. The staff member had last worked at the store, located at 1301 Main Street in Penticton, on Oct. 13.
Meanwhile, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control added a number of new flights to its exposure watchlist over the weekend including Air Transat 932 Toronto to Vancouver (exposure Sept. 30,) Air Canada Flight 115, Toronto to Vancouver (Oct. 9,) WestJet 182, Kelowna to Calgary (Oct. 10,) WestJet Flight 195, Calgary to Victoria (Oct. 11,) Delta 3702, Seattle to Vancouver (Oct. 12,) KLM 681, Amsterdam to Vancouver (Oct. 12,) Flair 8513, Saskatoon to Vancouver (Oct. 12) and Air Canada Flight 241, Edmonton to Vancouver (Oct. 14.)
There are now 4,028 people in isolation in B.C. after being potentially exposed to COVID-19, while the federal government has extended a ban on non-essential travel to and from the U.S. until at least Nov. 21.
Alberta reported 898 new cases over the past three days. Alberta has 3,138 active cases (the highest on record) of which 117 are in hospital including 18 in intensive care. Two hundred and ninety two people have died from COVID-19 related causes in Alberta.
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