As the City of Surrey leads the province in the number of COVID-19 cases, publicly released data shows that outbreaks and exposures are starting to pepper the city.
An interactive map compiled by Peace Arch News illustrates the spread of the disease by showing where some recent exposures and active outbreaks have occurred.
However, a map indicating where every COVID-19 exposure has taken place will remain incomplete because Fraser Health has said they won’t release the data.
Aletta Vanderheyden, a spokesperson for Fraser Health, told PAN Thursday (Nov. 5) that, for privacy reasons, the health authority doesn’t provide the details of all businesses where a COVID-19 exposure has taken place.
“We only do those public notifications when public health providers cannot be certain they have reached all of those people who need to be contacted and who therefore might be at risk,” Vanderheyden said.
“When we work with those different businesses, if we’ve been able to contact the people and can work through the contact tracing process, then great. If there’s an uncertainty, that’s when we go to a public notification.”
According to most recent data, published to the BC Centre for Disease Control website in September, Surrey led the province in the number cases with 1,814. Abbotsford was second with 655 cumulative cases. White Rock and South Surrey, which are lumped together, had 166 cases.
Those numbers are expected to be much higher today, as the city-by-city numbers provided by the BCCDC have not been updated since Sept. 30. A spokesperson from the BCCDC told PAN Thursday that the data is expected to be updated sometime next week.
When city-by-city data was published in September, B.C. was averaging about 100 new cases of COVID-19 per day. Comparatively, the province has reported about 300 new COVID-19 cases every day during the past week.
Current available information indicates the Fraser Health region is home to the largest share of COVID-19 cases in the province with 9,439 total cases and 2,284 active cases as of Wednesday afternoon. By contrast, Vancouver Coastal has the second-most cases with 5,097 total and 680 active.
Fraser Health COVID-19 public exposures
People who visited a public exposure location listed by Fraser Health, which can be found here, are asked to self-monitor for symptoms.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, chills, cough or worsening chronic cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting and/or muscle aches.
People with symptoms, however mild, are asked to use the B.C. COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool, call 8-1-1, seek testing and then self isolate.
Fraser Health’s current active outbreak list, which can be found here, is updated when new outbreaks are declared and when they are over.
After an outbreak, Fraser Health says it enhances control measures and works with staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed. Proactive steps implemented at outbreak sites can include:
· Visitors are restricted throughout the facility;
· Staff and residents’ movement in the facility has been restricted;
· Cleaning and infection control measures have been enhanced;
· Residents, families and staff are being notified;
· Twice-a-day screening of all staff and residents.
The most recent outbreak in the Surrey and White Rock area occurred at White Rock Seniors Village.
Thursday afternoon, the province reported 425 new COVID-19 cases, a new single-day record for the province.