B.C. health officials announced a new outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in Surrey where 88 per cent of residents had been vaccinated.
One resident and one staff member have tested positive at Fleetwood Place which is a privately owned and operated long-term care home in Fraser Health. One positive case is enough for health authorities to declare an outbreak in high-risk settings like care homes.
According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s immunization report, 88 per cent of residents at the home had been vaccinated as of Feb. 15.
On Sunday, an outbreak was declared at the Cottonwoods long-term care home in Kelowna where the BCCDC reported 82 per cent of residents had been immunized.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry spoke about the Cottonwoods outbreak Monday and said transmission is possible even when people are fully vaccinated but the illness seems to be milder and less contagious, nor is there a likelihood of “rapid explosive outbreaks.”
In a written update Tuesday, B.C. health officials also reported 550 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.
Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 249 people, 68 of whom are in intensive care.
A total of 1,393 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, out of 85,119 confirmed cases.
“Today marks a sombre milestone: one year since the first person in British Columbia died as a result of COVID-19,” said Henry and Dix in a written statement. “Today, we pause and remember everyone who has died from this virus and offer our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones.”
There are currently 4,869 active cases of coronavirus in the province, and public health is monitoring 8,971 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation because of COVID-19 exposure. A total of 78,770 people who tested positive have recovered.
Health authorities also announced 182 new cases have been identified as variants of concern, for a total of 576 cases with variants.
So far, 343,381 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 86,938 second doses.
Monday with vaccines rolling out, Henry signalled a potential loosening of some restrictions, even as the province announced an average of 487 new daily cases of COVID-19 over three days.
Nearly 15,000 vaccine appointments were booked for seniors across British Columbia Monday as the province opened the next phase of its immunization rollout plan.
However, only 369 bookings were made in Vancouver Coastal, and officials pledged to work with that health authority to get those bookings “back on track.”
CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions.
You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot, as well as opportunities to participate in two community conversations on March 3, focused on outreach to Indigenous and multicultural communities.
Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: email@example.com