The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has added another round of B.C. flights to its list of public COVID-19 exposures.
The public health agency on Saturday, Dec. 12 warned passengers who travelled aboard the following six flights that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus while flying in or out of Vancouver earlier this month:
- Dec 2: Air Canada 222, Vancouver to Calgary (Affected rows 27-33)
- Dec 2: Air Canada 344, Vancouver to Ottawa (Affected rows 12-16)
- Dec 2: Air Canada 555, Los Angeles to Vancouver (Affected rows 26-32)
- Dec 2: Air Canada/Jazz 8413, Kelowna to Vancouver (Affected rows 1-5)
- Dec 5: Flair 8186, Calgary to Vancouver (Affected rows 13-19)
- Dec 7: Air Canada 103, Toronto to Vancouver (Affected rows 38-4$)
Saturday's update comes following numerous B.C. flights that have been identified in recent weeks for carrying one or more individuals who have since tested positive for the virus, including two recent flights the BCCDC announced Tuesday.
The latest additions to the list were announced one day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 737 new cases of the virus confirmed in a 24-hour period, along with 11 more deaths attributable to the coronavirus. According to Henry, there are 9,589 British Columbians currently under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases
As cases continue to spike, the provincial health officer implemented new orders last month instructing British Columbians to avoid any non-essential travel outside their home communities. Those orders have been extended until at least Jan. 8.
Your flight has been identified for having COVID-19 on board. What next?
The BCCDC is encouraging travellers who recently returned to B.C. to check the public health agency's website for updates about flights identified for potential exposures. Passengers who flew aboard a domestic flight flagged for carrying a COVID-19 case are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their flight.
Any passengers who have travelled outside of Canada, meanwhile, are required to self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon their arrival.
Any returning travellers who develop symptoms following their arrival in Canada should get tested for COVID-19. Individuals who test positive are required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from their arrival date, or 10 days after onset of symptoms, whichever is longer.
While self-monitoring for symptoms of the virus— which may include fever, cough, chills, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste and many more—individuals should take and record their temperature daily, and avoid taking fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, if possible, for 14 days following their return to Canada or last known exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case. The average normal body temperature taken orally is about 37°C, according to the BCCDC.
For more information about self-monitoring and self-isolation, head to the BCCDC's website.
Pandemic devastating travel industry
The country's two largest airlines ended their onboard seat distancing policies on July 1, raising health concerns amid a pandemic that has devastated the travel industry.
Some people continue to take to social media to ask why airlines are permitted to ignore physical distancing protocol while other businesses must adhere to them; others simply say they won't travel with airlines that don't have distancing policies in place.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, the government continues to discourage Canadians from any non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. Officials have implemented a global travel advisory that effectively "overrides other risk levels ... with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel."