VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province reported 97 more COVID-19 cases in B.C. and an outbreak at a Vancouver retirement home on Tuesday, but no deaths a day after recording six — of which five were in long-term care.
The new outbreak is at OPAL by Element, a retirement home in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
Outbreaks are now active at 11 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and three acute-care units in B.C.
Re: reports of home care visits being cancelled because of staffing shortages, @adriandix says it’s difficult to comment on general statements, but “there may be issues out there” and “in general” home care visits have increased since #COVID19 pandemic started. #bcpoli @NEWS1130
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) September 15, 2020
“We must hold steady with our layers of protection. From keeping safe distances, to washing our hands, staying home, and staying away from others when we are ill and have symptoms of COVID-19, we must all do our part,” says a release from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
If you are feeling symptoms, they advise to call 811 and arrange to be tested.
“Testing allows for rapid contact tracing. It means public health teams are able to quickly notify those who may be at risk and contain the spread to the others in the community.”
Health officials also continue to work with schools to manage contact tracing if cases arise.
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) September 15, 2020
Dix said earlier Tuesday that he is aware some schools have already sent letters home to parents about students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus.
A letter was sent to families with students at Panorama Ridge Secondary in Surrey on Friday. A COVID-19 case involving someone at Delta Secondary was then confirmed Monday.
On Tuesday, five more schools released exposure events, including Stanley Humphries Secondary in Castlegar.
Four exposures were in the Fraser Health Authority: Khalsa Elementary, Old Yale campus; William Watson Elementary School, Johnson Heights Secondary and Sullivan Heights Secondary.
It’s early in BC’s return to school.
But this is what PHO said was expected as schools return – that people in the community going back to school as students or staff were already infected and public health was/is prepared to mitigate quickly.#bcpoli #bced #covid19 @NEWS1130 https://t.co/2MfaOapZtB
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) September 15, 2020
“This is time to get ready for the fall and winter seasons, to set the routines that ensure we stick with six people and avoid activities that will put ourselves and those we care for at risk,” Henry and Dix add.
“Let’s continue to monitor ourselves for symptoms and to modify our activities so we can all manage COVID-19 as it remains in our communities. Let’s take the precautions we need to that will protect ourselves, our loved ones, our elders and our communities.”
The new cases bring the total in B.C. since the start of the pandemic to 7,376.
Deaths remain at 219. All but eight have occurred the Lower Mainland, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Of 1,590 active cases, 63 people are in hospital, including 20 in intensive care. The latter is double the total from Friday and up from as few as five late last month, while Vancouver Island has zero hospitalizations.
Another 3,001 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 5,548 people who tested positive have recovered.
Cases by health region since the start of the pandemic: 2,608 in Vancouver Coastal; 3,784 Fraser; 195 in Island; 479 in Interior; 225 in Northern; and 85 cases people who reside outside of Canada.