B.C. reported 142 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Thursday, including two new cases in Island Health.
Three of the new cases are epidemiologically-linked, meaning people who were never tested but were presumed to have COVID-19 because they developed symptoms and were close contacts of a laboratory-confirmed case.
B.C. has now had a total of 11,034 cases since the start of the pandemic, including 239 in Island Health, 3,974 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 5,800 in Fraser Health, 587 in Interior Health, 345 in Northern Health and 89 among residents who normally reside outside of Canada (visitors and temporary foreign workers).
No new COVID-19 deaths were reported in B.C. on Oct. 15. The death toll remains at 250 in the province.
There are 1,494 active cases in B.C. (two fewer than Oct. 15). There are 74 people in hospital with COVID-19 (10 fewer than Oct. 15), with 24 of those in intensive care (no change from Oct. 15). Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said the main cause in the drop in hospitalizations is people being discharged in Vancouver Coastal Health.
The one person who was hospitalized in Island Health has been discharged, according to the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard. .
There are 3,683 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases (75 more than Oct. 15) and 9,257 people have recovered. There have been 219 recoveries in Island Health as of Oct. 15.
The B.C. Ministry of Health says there can be differences between active cases versus the total number of cases minus deaths and recoveries due to inter-provincial travel, people leaving the country etc. after they get tested in B.C.
No new healthcare outbreaks were reported on Thursday. However, one new community outbreak was reported at a Fed Ex office in Interior Health, near the Kelowna airport. According to Interior Health, three staff members have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and six are in isolation, and no members of the public have been exposed.
Henry said there is no risk to people who are picking up packages.
Henry said during Thursday’s press conference that a total of 916 COVID-19 tests were processed in the last 24 hours, making the percent positivity at 1.5 per cent.
Henry also reported on Thursday that there has been a confirmed case of the multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in a child in B.C. whose serology test came back from COVID-19 this week. Henry said the child is under age five.
“The child is fully recovered,” Henry said.
According to Henry, 16 children have been assessed for MIS-C, a rare condition found in children, but those have had no association with COVID-19.
MIS-C has clinical similarities to Kawasaki Disease, according to a guide for doctors prepared by the B.C Health Ministry and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, rash, among others. Health-care providers are told to closely monitor any cases, as they can deteriorate.
Henry also took the opportunity Thursday to urge members of the public to get their influenza vaccines if possible. She said sooner is better than later, but it’s best to be vaccinated by late October or early November.
“We monitor very carefully for influenza, and so far rates have been very low in our community, so we’re not yet into that season,” she said.
Demand has been unusually high this year during the pandemic and some pharmacies are already reporting running out of the vaccine. But Henry said supplies will be replenished throughout the season.
Island Health has 14 active cases: seven in southern Vancouver Island, six in central Vancouver Island and one in northern Vancouver Island.
Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.
Central Vancouver Island includes the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino areas.
Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.
More COVID-19 information
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, public health contacts affected school community members directly. Regional health authorities also post school notifications on their websites, providing the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure) for impacted schools.
The Island Health school site can be found here.
B.C. has posted detailed information about the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases from January to September 2020. This map will be updated monthly, according to B.C. health officials.
Island Health’s COVID-19 data breaks down North, Central and South Island case counts and lists the number of days since any new lab-diagnosed cases. You can find the data here along with any public exposures.
To see B.C.’s COVID-19 numbers by day and health authority, along with testing numbers and recoveries, visit the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard. The numbers are updated at 4:30 p.m. PT each weekday.
To see a list of all provincial public COVID-19 exposures in the province, including links to exposures listed on health authority websites, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website (CDC) here.
Data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is more than 38.7 million. More than 1.095 million deaths have been recorded.
Watch Dr. Bonnie Henry on Oct. 15 below:
With files from CBC and The Canadian Press