Monday December 28, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC [Update January 1, 2020: now six cases – five in one unit, one more in another, but all on the same floor]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
Yesterday on Sunday of the 2020 Christmas weekend, the first confirmed case of a person in British Columbia infected with the COVID-19 variant, aka B.1.1.7 (as first identified in the United Kingdom) was announced in a written statement from BC Health.
That brings the total of new-variant cases in Canada to six (including two in the Greater Toronto area, one in Ottawa, one in Alberta).
This is the first known case of a British Columbian infected with the variant which is considered to be more highly transmissible (i.e. more contagious). As if COVID infection is not already serious, it is not known yet whether the B.1.1.7 variant virus causes more serious illness, say various medical experts so far.
For people on Vancouver Island this is of particular interest and importance, because the first case was detected here.
People are hopefully always being careful about ways to prevent transmission of the COVID virus in our immediate lives at home, at work, and in the community (e.g. physical distancing, wearing a face mask in all public spaces, and keeping gatherings to household-only). But this new development ramps up the need to pay even greater attention to undertaking these preventative measures.
The person who was found to have been infected with the new UK-variant had returned to BC from the UK 12 days ago on December 15, 2020 (flight AC855). The person developed symptoms while in quarantine and was immediately tested. Testing confirmed the positive diagnosis on December 19, 2020; a small number of close contacts have been isolated and public health is following up with them daily.
Outbreak in long-term care in Nanaimo:
Yesterday a first case of COVID in long-term care at the Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo was discovered; the outbreak is listed by Island Health as on December 27 and 28.
|Location in Island Health (at December 28, 2020)||Type||Date|
|Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence|
100 Eleventh Street
|Outbreak||Dec 27 and 28, 2020|
|The Gardens at Qualicum Beach Long-Term Care|
650 Berwick Rd North
Qualicum Beach, B.C.
|Outbreak||Dec 19, 2020|
|Saanich Peninsula Hospital*|
2166 Mt Newton X Rd
Saanichton, B.C.* The emergency department remains open and is a safe place to seek care.
|Outbreak||Dec 1, 2020|
Next live update:
The next live media availability about COVID-19 by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will be held on Tuesday December 29 at 3 pm (on the usual streams including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube). That will include a four-day report on COVID-19 case statistics (Dec 25 to 26, Dec 26 to 27, Dec 27 to 28, and Dec 28 to 29).
===== Links (from government):
For updated PHO orders and new guidance:
For details on new restrictions, visit:
Find out where to get tested: If you are experiencing symptoms, find a collection centre near you to get tested: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing
Mental health, anxiety and other supports:
For mental health and anxiety support, visit: www.bouncebackbc.ca
Or visit the BCCDC for further supports: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/mental-well-being-during-covid-19
Information on overdoses, visit: https://www.stopoverdose.gov.bc.ca
People in BC experiencing violence can access VictimLink, a toll-free, confidential multilingual service available 24/7 by calling or texting 1 800 563-0808 or emailing: VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca (mailto:VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca)
For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information by health authority:
BCCDC (flights, work sites, etc.): http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure
Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/
Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/outbreaks-and-exposures
Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures
Vancouver Coastal: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures
For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit: