Delta had 629 new cases of COVID-19 to close out 2020, a little over two-thirds the number of new cases in November.
Each month, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control releases a map showing the total reported COVID-19 cases to date by local health area of residence. It does not include cases from out of province or whose residence is unknown. It also does not indicate where cases were contracted.
The most recent map, which shows cumulative cases from Jan. 1 to the end of December, shows Delta has been home to 1,960 COVID-19 cases over that time.
The same map at the end of November showed 1,331 cases to date in Delta. That’s more than triple the 428 cases to the end of October, which in turn was more than double the total number of cases reported the month before.
The BC CDC also releases weekly maps showing the number of active cases by local health service area of residence. The most recent, for the week of Dec. 27 to Jan. 2, shows 134 cases in Delta. That’s up slightly from the previous week (131 Dec. 13 to 19).
There were 138 active cases from Dec. 6 to 12, and 208 from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.
Meanwhile, the province this week began reporting weekly updates on each care home, assisted living or independent living facility dealing with outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.
Daily reports are compiled in each health authority, along with hospitalization and intensive care statistics, before being compiled into a province-wide report for release to media. The new system has contracted and government labs send their daily results to the province and health authority managers at the same time.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the weekly reports will detail each of 51 current outbreaks in care homes every Thursday, including the number of infected staff and residents as well as deaths per care facility.
The Jan. 7 report — which is up to date as of 10 a.m. on Jan. 6 — lists active ongoing outbreaks at three Delta facilities: Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre, Kin Village The Waterford.
Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre has had a cumulative total of 64 cases — 25 residents and 39 staff — since the current outbreak began on Nov. 1. So far seven people have died, all of them residents at the East Delta long-term care facility.
The outbreak is the third at Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre. Fraser Health previously declared an outbreak at the facility on March 21 after and staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That outbreak was declared over a month later on April 22 and was limited to the one case.
More recently, the health authority declared an outbreak on Oct. 9, again after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. That outbreak was declared over on Oct. 23, and also limited to one case.
Meanwhile, the Kin Village assisted living facility in Tsawwassen has had three cases since its outbreak began on Jan. 3. All of those have been residents, and so far no one has died.
According to the report, this is the second outbreak at the Kin Village assisted living facility. The first, which began Sept. 3 and ended Oct. 16, had a total of four cases — three residents and one staff member. One resident died.
On Sunday, Jan. 9, three days after the report was compiled, Fraser Health declared another outbreak at KinVillage. This latest outbreak was declared after three staff members in the long-term care building tested positive for COVID-19. The staff members are currently in self-isolation at their homes.
In a media release, the health authority said the outbreak is confined to the long-term care building and in not connected to the outbreak in the assisted living building.
The report also lists an active outbreak at The Waterford retirement residence in Tsawwassen. The outbreak, which began on Dec. 27, has had a total of 61 cases — 54 residents and seven staff. So far, no one has died.
On Jan. 2, Fraser Health declared the outbreak at North Delta’s Northcrest Care Centre over. According to the report, the outbreak at the long-term care facility began on Nov. 5 and had a total of 46 cases —19 residents and 27 staff. Four people, all residents, died.
In related news, B.C. health officials on Friday (Jan. 8) clarified what constitutes essential visits and social visits to long-term and assisted living care homes as restrictions in senior care facilities continue amid high daily case counts of COVID-19.
According to the ministry of health, essential visits are for reasons such as compassionate care (including hospice, end of life care and critical illness); feeding, mobility and personal care assistance; and communication assistance and supported decision-making or cognitive impairment.
Essential visits are limited to one visitor at a time with exceptions for palliative and end-of-life care. Registered volunteers providing these services are included.
Social visits are defined as visits made by a family member or friend of a resident. Only one designated family member or friend may visit. Every visitor must schedule their visit in advance with facility staff and socialize only in designated visiting areas.
Social visits are only allowed if there is no COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.
The clarification came a day after health officials extended the current bans on social gatherings and restrictions on athletics another four weeks, until Feb. 5.
— with files from Tom Fletcher, Adam Louis and Ashley Wadhwani