COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia

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COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationBritish Columbia, Canada
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseVancouver
Arrival dateJanuary 28, 2020
(4 months and 2 days)
Confirmed cases2,573[1]
Active cases228[1]
Recovered2,181[1]
Deaths
164[1]
Government website
BC Centre for Disease Control

The COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia is an ongoing 2019–20 worldwide viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On January 28, British Columbia became the second province to confirm a case of COVID-19 in Canada.[2] The first case of infection was reported on January 28, where the patient had recently returned from Wuhan, Hubei, China.[3] The first case of community transmission in Canada was confirmed in British Columbia on March 5.[4] As of May 30, 2020, the BC Centre for Disease Control has announced 2,573 confirmed cases, 2,181 recoveries, and 164 deaths.[1] As of May 29, 2020, 141, 392 tests for the virus have been conducted in British Columbia.[5]

Numerous emergency measures have been taken in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus, including an emphasis on physical distancing and self-isolation. On March 23, Premier John Horgan announced the details of the province-wide emergency relief plan, which includes income supports, tax relief and direct funding in order to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic.[6]

Management[edit]

A public health emergency was declared in the province on March 17.[7] On March 18, BC Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth declared a province-wide state of emergency.[8] Several municipalities in the Metro Vancouver Regional District have declared local states of emergency, including Vancouver, New Westminster, Delta, Surrey, and Richmond.[9]

On March 19, the BC Housing Management Commission placed a moratorium on evictions from government subsidized housing.[9]

British Columbia provided an online self assessment tool for those who are concerned they may be infected.[10] First responders such as police and firefighters have begun to ask screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms prior to attendance, and may wear additional personal protective equipment upon attendance to residences.[11]

Closures[edit]

Gatherings of over 50 people have been banned, and bars and nightclubs have been ordered to close.[12] Restaurants and cafes were initially permitted to remain open as long as staff were able to maintain physical distance from customers. However, on March 20, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry ordered the closure of all dine-in establishments.[13] On March 21, she ordered all personal service establishments, such as day spas, hair and beauty salons, and tattoo parlours, to close for the foreseeable future.[14] Many cities have closed public playgrounds, including Vancouver,[15] Delta,[16] Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody.[17]

Numerous businesses have voluntarily reduced operating hours or closed physical locations. Many have moved operations to phone and internet.[18][9]

Timeline[edit]

COVID-19 cases in British Columbia, Canada  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Jan Jan Feb Feb Mar Mar Apr Apr May May Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
# of recoveries
2020-01-28
1(n.a.)
1(=)
2020-02-04
2(+100%) 1(n.a.)
2020-02-05
2(=) 1(=)
2020-02-06
4(+100%) 4(+300%)
4(=) 4(=)
2020-02-14
5(+25%) 4(=)
5(=) 4(=)
2020-02-20
6(+20%) 4(=)
6(=) 4(=)
2020-02-24
7(+17%) 4(=)
7(=) 4(=)
2020-03-02
8(+14%) 4(=)
2020-03-03
12(+50%) 4(=)
2020-03-04
13(+8.3%) 4(=)
13(=) 4(=)
2020-03-06
21(+62%) 4(=)
2020-03-07
27(+29%) 4(=)
2020-03-08
27(=) 4(=)
2020-03-09
32(+19%) 4(=)
2020-03-10
39(+22%) 4(=)
2020-03-11
46(+18%) 4(=)
2020-03-12
53(+15%) 4(=)
2020-03-13
64(+21%) 4(=)
2020-03-14
73(+14%) 4(=)
2020-03-15
73(=) 4(=)
2020-03-16
103(+41%) 5(+25%)
2020-03-17
186(+81%) 5(=)
2020-03-18
231(+24%) 5(=)
2020-03-19
271(+17%) 5(=)
2020-03-20
348(+28%) 6(+20%)
2020-03-21
424(+22%) 6(=)
2020-03-22
472(+11%) 6(=)
2020-03-23
539(+14%) 100(+1567%)
2020-03-24
617(+14%) 173(+73%)
2020-03-25
659(+6.8%) 183(+5.8%)
2020-03-26
725(+10%) 186(+1.6%)
2020-03-27
792(+9.2%) 275(+48%)
2020-03-28
884(+12%) 396(+44%)
2020-03-29
900(+1.8%) 396(=)
2020-03-30
970(+7.8%) 469(+18%)
2020-03-31
1,013(+4.4%) 507(+8.1%)
2020-04-01
1,066(+5.2%) 606(+20%)
2020-04-02
1,121(+5.2%) 641(+5.8%)
2020-04-03
1,174(+4.7%) 673(+5.0%)
2020-04-04
1,203(+2.5%) 704(+4.6%)
2020-04-05
1,229(+2.2%) 704(=)
2020-04-06
1,266(+3.0%) 783(+11%)
2020-04-07
1,291(+2.0%) 805(+2.8%)
2020-04-08
1,336(+3.5%) 838(+4.1%)
2020-04-09
1,370(+2.5%) 858(+2.4%)
2020-04-10
1,410(+2.9%) 879(+2.4%)
2020-04-11
1,445(+2.5%) 905(+3.0%)
2020-04-12
1,470(+1.7%) 905(=)
2020-04-13
1,490(+1.4%) 926(+2.3%)
2020-04-14
1,517(+1.8%) 942(+1.7%)
2020-04-15
1,561(+2.9%) 955(+1.4%)
2020-04-16
1,575(+0.9%) 983(+2.9%)
2020-04-17
1,618(+2.7%) 966(−1.7%[i])
2020-04-18
1,647(+1.8%) 987(+2.2%)
2020-04-19
1,676(+1.8%) 987(=)
2020-04-20
1,699(+1.4%) 1,039(+5.3%)
2020-04-21
1,724(+1.4%) 1,041(+0.2%)
2020-04-22
1,795(+4.1%) 1,079(+3.7%)
2020-04-23
1,824(+1.6%) 1,092(+1.2%)
2020-04-24
1,853(+1.6%) 1,114(+2.0%)
2020-04-25
1,948(+5.1%) 1,137(+2.0%)
2020-04-26
1,987(+2.0%) 1,137(=)
2020-04-27
1,998(+0.6%) 1,190(+4.7%)
2020-04-28
2,053(+2.6%) 1,231(+3.4%)
2020-04-29
2,087(+1.7%) 1,305(+6.0%)
2020-04-30
2,112(+1.2%) 1,322(+1.3%)
2020-05-01
2,145(+1.5%) 1,357(+2.6%)
2020-05-02
2,171(+1.2%) 1,376(+1.4%)
2020-05-03
2,205(+1.6%) 1,376(=)
2020-05-04
2,224(+0.9%) 1,417(+3.0%)
2020-05-05
2,232(+0.4%) 1,472(+3.7%)
2020-05-06
2,255(+1.0%) 1,494(+1.5%)
2020-05-07
2,286(+1.4%) 1,512(+1.2%)
2020-05-08
2,315(+1.3%) 1,579(+4.4%)
2020-05-09
2,330(+0.6%) 1,659(+5.1%)
2020-05-10
2,339(+0.4%) 1,659(=)
2020-05-11
2,353(+0.6%) 1,719(+3.6%)
2020-05-12
2,360(+0.3%) 1,832(+6.5%)
2020-05-13
2,376(+0.7%) 1,859(+1.5%)
2020-05-14
2,392(+0.7%[ii]) 1,885(+1.4%)
2020-05-15
2,407(+0.6%) 1,908(+1.4%)
2020-05-16
2,428(+0.9%) 1,932(+1.3%)
2020-05-17
2,436(+0.3%) 1,932(=)
2020-05-18
2,444(+0.3%) 1,966(+1.7%)
2020-05-19
2,446(+0.1%) 1,975(+0.5%)
2020-05-20
2,467(+0.9%) 2,001(+1.3%)
2020-05-21
2,479(+0.5%) 2,020(+0.9%)
2020-05-22
2,507(+1.1%[iii]) 2,042(+1.1%)
2020-05-23
2,517(+0.4%) 2,057(+0.73%)
2020-05-25
2,530(+0.5%) 2,102(+2.2%)
2020-05-26
2,541(+0.4%) 2,122(+0.95%)
2020-05-27
2,550(+0.35%) 2,144(+1.0%)
Source: "Case counts & press statements". BC Centre for Disease Control.

Notes:

  1. ^ The decrease in the number of recoveries on April 17, 2020 corresponds to a change in criteria used to determine recoveries in Vancouver Coastal Health cases.[19]
  2. ^ The data on May 14 include fifteen newly reported cases and one additional case added due to a data correction.[20]
  3. ^ The data on May 22 includes eighteen newly reported cases and ten additional cases added due to two data corrections.[21]


The first case in British Columbia was reported on January 28. The person had returned from Wuhan and began experiencing symptoms on January 26, with self-isolation beginning immediately.[22]

The first case in BC's interior was reported on February 14. The person had recently returned from China, and was self-isolating.[23]

The first case in the Fraser Health region was reported on February 20. This was also the first BC case where the person had traveled from Iran. The person immediately began self-isolation.[24]

The first two cases in the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver were reported on March 7. One resident and one staff member were diagnosed.[25] The staff member is now thought to be Canada's first case of community transmission.[26] This care centre became Canada's worst outbreak, with 16 cases to date, and may be linked to subsequent cases in another seniors' home and a hospital in North Vancouver.[27]

BC's first two cases linked to the Grand Princess were also reported on March 7. They were hospitalized.[25]

On March 9, the Lynn Valley outbreak resulted in Canada's first death. The person was a man in his 80s with pre-existing health conditions.[26] On March 17, three more deaths were announced: 2 were at the Lynn Valley Care Center, the other "in [a] hospital in the Fraser Health region".[28] Another death was reported at the Lynn Valley Care Centre on March 19 and again on March 21.[29][30]

Anti-lockdown protest in Vancouver on 26 April 2020

On March 18, 45 cases were confirmed, increasing the total to 231.[31] On March 19, 40 new cases were confirmed.[29] On March 20, 77 cases were confirmed[32] and 76 cases were confirmed on March 21, increasing the total number of cases to 424.[33] On March 23, health officials in BC reported that 100 people had recovered from the virus. The number of confirmed cases in the province rose to 472.[34] On March 24, the number of confirmed cases in the province rose to 617. On the other hand, the number of recovered people rose to 173.[35][36] On March 25, confirmed cases rose to 659, deaths to 14, and recoveries to 183.[37]

On March 27, 67 new cases in the province were reported, bringing the total number of cases to 792. Another 2 deaths were also confirmed, which took place in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. However, the number of recoveries rose to 275.[38] On March 28, 92 more cases were reported in the province, bringing the total to 884. Another death was also confirmed by health authorities as well. The number of recoveries rose to 396.[39][40]

On March 30, the number of cases rose to 970, seeing 86 new cases. 2 other deaths were confirmed as well, but the number of recoveries rose to 469.[41]

On April 4, the number of cases rose to 1,203, after 29 new cases were confirmed. Despite it being the lowest amount of confirmed cases in weeks, 3 more people were confirmed dead. The number of recoveries rose to 704.[42]

On April 7, the number of cases rose to 1,291, and an additional 4 more deaths were reported. However, the amount of recoveries rose to 805, with the province "bending the curve."[43]

On April 17, Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that B.C. had succeeded in reducing the number of cases and the health-care system was not overwhelmed. She added that B.C. had "flattened that curve".[44]

By health authority[edit]

All health authority regions of BC are affected. As of May 23, 2020, case totals per region are as follows: Fraser Health (1,244), Vancouver Coastal Health (890), Interior Health (194), Island Health (127), and Northern Health (62).[1] Of these cases, 2,057 have recovered, 41 are in hospital, and 8 are in ICU.[1]

Social and economic impact[edit]

Deserted exterior of Canada Place. Note the two pedestrians on the left wearing face masks.

As a result of the pandemic, BC Ferries cancelled sailings,[45] began to permit passengers to stay in their vehicles during sailings,[46] and were granted authority to refuse to transport passengers showing symptoms consistent with the coronavirus.[47][48] On April 12, BC Ferries announced that they had reduced their sailings and were operating at 50 percent capacity.[49]

The provincial legislature passed an aid bill on March 25, 2020, before adjourning indefinitely.[50] While adjourned, some virtual sessions took place.[51] The leadership contest of the Green Party of British Columbia was postponed.[52][53]

In many parts of the province, residents began daily cheers at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate and thank healthcare workers.[54][55][56][57][58] In April, Mr. PG flew a flag emblazoned with a red heart as part of a community support initiative.[59]

In response to layoffs and unemployment, the government suspended nearly all evictions and froze rent increases. In limited circumstances where safety concerns exist, evictions were still permitted, as well as where notices were issued prior to the state of emergency. A $500 monthly rental rebate was also created to assist tenants unable to pay their monthly rent. The rebate is paid directly to landlords of qualifying tenants.[60] The Vancouver Tenants Union called for tenants in larger complexes to unite to negotiate favourable terms with landlords. Some other tenant advocacy groups called for a large-scale rent strike.[61][62]

The Pacific National Exhibition and Celebration of Light were both cancelled.[63] The Vancouver Pride Society cancelled its parade, and planned virtual events in its place.[64][65][66]

Closures caused cash-flow problems for attractions including Science World, the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre, and the Vancouver Aquarium which rely on revenues from admissions.[67][68] In response to reports that the Aquarium might have to close permanently, fundraisers raised over $600,000.[69][70]

Statistical data[edit]

Cases and deaths in BC ()

Date Cases Deaths Recoveries Active
New Total Change New Total Change New Total Change
2020-01-28 1 1 1
6 days 0 1 1
2020-02-04 1 2 100% 1 1 1
2020-02-05 0 2 0 1 1
2020-02-06 2 4 100% 3 4 300% 0
2020-02-14 1 5 25% 0 4 1
5 days 0 5 0 4 1
2020-02-20 1 6 20% 0 4 2
3 days 0 6 0 4 2
2020-02-24 1 7 17% 0 4 3
6 days 0 7 0 4 3
2020-03-02 1 8 14% 0 4 4
2020-03-03 4 12 50% 0 4 8
2020-03-04 1 13 8.3% 0 4 9
2020-03-06 8 21 62% 0 4 17
2020-03-07 6 27 29% 0 4 23
2020-03-08 0 27 0 4 23
2020-03-09 5 32 19% 0 4 27
2020-03-10 7 39 22% 1 1 0 4 34
2020-03-11 7 46 18% 0 1 0 4 41
2020-03-12 7 53 15% 0 1 0 4 48
2020-03-13 11 64 21% 0 1 0 4 56
2020-03-14 9 73 14% 0 1 0 4 68
2020-03-15 0 73 0 1 0 4 68
2020-03-16 30 103 41% 3 4 300% 1 5 25% 94
2020-03-17 83 186 81% 3 7 75% 0 5 174
2020-03-18 45 231 24% 0 7 0 5 219
2020-03-19 40 271 17% 1 8 14% 0 5 258
2020-03-20 77 348 28% 1 9 12% 1 6 20% 333
2020-03-21 76 424 22% 1 10 11% 0 6 408
2020-03-22 48 472 11% 3 13 30% 0 6 453
2020-03-23 67 539 14% 0 13 94 100 1567% 426
2020-03-24 78 617 14% 0 13 73 173 73% 431
2020-03-25 42 659 6.8% 1 14 7.7% 10 183 5.7% 462
2020-03-26 66 725 10% 0 14 3 186 1.6% 525
2020-03-27 67 792 9.2% 2 16 14% 89 275 48% 501
2020-03-28 92 884 12% 1 17 6.3% 121 396 44% 471
2020-03-29 16 900 1.8% 0 17 0 396 487
2020-03-30 70 970 7.8% 2 19 12% 73 469 18% 482
2020-03-31 43 1,013 4.4% 5 24 26% 38 507 8.1% 482
2020-04-01 53 1,066 5.2% 1 25 4.2% 99 606 20% 435
2020-04-02 55 1,121 5.2% 6 31 24% 35 641 5.8% 449
2020-04-03 53 1,174 4.7% 4 35 13% 32 673 5.0% 466
2020-04-04 29 1,203 2.5% 3 38 8.6% 31 704 4.6% 461
2020-04-05 26 1,229 2.2% 0 38 0 704 487
2020-04-06 37 1,266 3.0% 1 39 2.6% 79 783 11% 444
2020-04-07 25 1,291 2.0% 4 43 10% 22 805 2.8% 443
2020-04-08 45 1,336 3.5% 5 48 12% 33 838 4.1% 450
2020-04-09 34 1,370 2.5% 2 50 4.2% 20 858 2.4% 462
2020-04-10 40 1,410 2.9% 5 55 10% 21 879 2.4% 476
2020-04-11 35 1,445 2.5% 3 58 5.5% 26 905 3.0% 482
2020-04-12 25 1,470 1.7% 0 58 0 905 502
2020-04-13 20 1,490 1.4% 11 69 19% 21 926 2.3% 495
2020-04-14 27 1,517 1.8% 3 72 4.3% 16 942 1.7% 503
2020-04-15 44 1,561 2.9% 3 75 4.2% 13 955 1.4% 531
2020-04-16 14 1,575 0.9% 2 77 2.7% 28 983 2.9% 515
2020-04-17 43 1,618 2.7% 1 78 1.3% -17[i] 966 −1.7% 574
2020-04-18 29 1,647 1.8% 3 81 3.5% 21 987 2.2% 579
2020-04-19 29 1,676 1.8% 3 84 3.7% 0 987 605
2020-04-20 23 1,699 1.4% 2 86 2.4% 52 1,039 5.3% 574
2020-04-21 25 1,724 1.5% 1 87 1.2% 2 1,041 0.2% 597
2020-04-22 71 1,795 4.1% 3 90 3.4% 38 1,079 3.7% 626
2020-04-23 29 1,824 1.6% 4 94 4.4% 13 1,092 1.2% 638
2020-04-24 29 1,853 1.6% 4 98 4.3% 22 1,114 2.0% 641
2020-04-25 95 1,948 5.1% 2 100 2.0% 23 1,137 2.0% 711
2020-04-26 39 1,987 2.0% 2 102 2.0% 0 1,137 748
2020-04-27 11 1,998 0.6% 1 103 1.0% 53 1,190 4.7% 705
2020-04-28 55 2,053 2.6% 2 105 1.9% 41 1,231 3.4% 717
2020-04-29 34 2,087 1.7% 4 109 3.8% 74 1,305 6.0% 673
2020-04-30 25 2,112 1.2% 2 111 1.8% 17 1,322 1.3% 679
2020-05-01 33 2,145 1.5% 1 112 0.9% 35 1,357 2.6% 676
2020-05-02 26 2,171 1.2% 2 114 1.8% 19 1,376 1.4% 681
2020-05-03 34 2,205 1.6% 0 114 0 1,376 715
2020-05-04 19 2,224 0.9% 3 117 2.6% 41 1,417 3.0% 690
2020-05-05 8 2,232 0.4% 4 121 3.4% 55 1,472 3.7% 639
2020-05-06 23 2,255 1.0% 3 124 2.5% 22 1,494 1.5% 637
2020-05-07 31 2,286 1.4% 2 126 1.6% 18 1,512 1.2% 650
2020-05-08 29 2,315 1.3% 1 127 0.8% 67 1,579 4.4% 609
2020-05-09 15 2,330 0.6% 2 129 1.6% 80 1,659 5.1% 542
2020-05-10 9 2,339 0.4% 1 130 0.8% 0 1,659 550
2020-05-11 14 2,353 0.6% 0 130 60 1,719 3.6% 504
2020-05-12 7 2,360 0.3% 1 131 0.8% 113 1,832 6.6% 397
2020-05-13 16 2,376 0.7% 1 132 0.8% 27 1,859 1.5% 385
2020-05-14 16[ii] 2,392 0.7% 3 135 2.2% 26 1,885 1.4% 372
2020-05-15 15 2,407 0.6% 5 140 3.7% 23 1,908 1.4% 359
2020-05-16 21 2,428 0.9% 1 141 0.7% 24 1,932 1.3% 355
2020-05-17 8 2,436 0.3% 0 141 0 1,932 363
2020-05-18 8 2,444 0.3% 2 143 1.4% 34 1,966 1.7% 335
2020-05-19 2 2,446 0.1% 3 146 2.1% 9 1,975 0.5% 325
2020-05-20 21 2,467 0.9% 3 149 2.1% 26 2,001 1.3% 317
2020-05-21 12 2,479 0.5% 3 152 2.0% 19 2,020 0.9% 307
2020-05-22 28[iii] 2,507 1.1% 3 155 2.0% 22 2,042 1.1% 310
2020-05-23 10 2,517 0.4% 2 157 1.2% 15 2,057 0.73% 303
2020-05-25 13 2,530 0.5% 4 161 2.5% 45 2,102 2.2% 267
2020-05-26 11 2,541 0.4% 0 161 - 20 2,122 0.95% 258
2020-05-27 9 2,550 0.3% 1 162 0.6% 22 2,144 1.0% 244
  • i The decrease in the number of recoveries on April 17 corresponds to a change in criteria used to determine recoveries in Vancouver Coastal Health cases.[71]
  • ii Includes fifteen new cases reported on May 14 and one additional case added due to a data correction, resulting in a 0.7% increase in total cases.[72]
  • iii Includes eighteen new cases reported on May 22 and ten additional cases added due to two data corrections, resulting in a 1.1% increase in total cases.[73]

Note: Charts are based on numbers released by health officials and may not reflect unreported cases or recoveries. Recoveries are logged on the first date after they were announced by health officials. Sources:[5][74][75]

References[edit]

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