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B.C. sees uptick in COVID-19 flight exposures, 82 flights added in single week

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VANCOUVER —
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added 23 more flights to its list of COVID-19 exposures on Friday and Saturday.

The latest additions to the list mean the BCCDC posted notifications about 82 different flights during the week of Sunday, April 4, to Saturday, April 10.

Eleven of the flights added to the list during the last week were international. The rest, some 87 per cent of the week’s additions, were domestic. 

The flights added either took off from or landed at a B.C. airport in late March or early April.

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While CTV News Vancouver does not have a weekly tally of the number of flights the BCCDC has added to the list since the pandemic began, available evidence on the centre’s website shows that the number of B.C. flights with COVID-19 cases on board has been increasing in recent weeks.

As of Saturday, the BCCDC COVID-19 flight exposures list had 149 flights connected to B.C. airports in March, for an average of fewer than five flights per day. But the exposures in March were not evenly distributed and as the month dragged on, the pace of exposures picked up.

One-hundred of the 149 exposures happened after March 15 (an average of more than six per day), and 83 of them took place on March 20 or later (more than seven per day).

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The increasing number of exposures on flights parallels the rising number of COVID-19 infections Canada has seen in recent weeks. On Friday, the country saw its highest-ever single-day total for new cases. 

Details of the 23 most recently added flights follow.

  • March 28: Air Canada flight 233 from Edmonton to Vancouver (rows 27 to 33)
  • March 28: Air Canada/Jazz flight 8414 from Vancouver to Kelowna (rows 11 to 17)
  • March 29: Air Canada flight 124 from Vancouver to Toronto (rows 12 to 14)
  • March 29: Air Canada flight 8419 from Kelowna to Vancouver (rows five to 11)
  • March 31: Air Canada flight 45 from Delhi to Vancouver (rows 22 to 28)
  • April 1: Harbour Air flight YB238 from Victoria to Vancouver (rows unknown)
  • April 1: Air Canada flight 212 from Vancouver to Calgary (rows 17 to 23 and 26 to 32)
  • April 1: WestJet flight 720 from Vancouver to Toronto (rows 13 to 19)
  • April 2: Air Canada flight 246 from Vancouver to Edmonton (rows 22 to 28)
  • April 2: Air Canada flight 306 from Vancouver to Montreal (rows 32 to 38)
  • April 2: Air India flight 185 from Delhi to Vancouver (rows not reported)
  • April 3: WestJet flight 136 from Vancouver to Calgary (rows one to four)
  • April 4: Air Canada flight 104 from Vancouver to Toronto (rows 26 to 30)
  • April 4: Swoop flight 182 from Abbotsford to Edmonton (rows not reported)
  • April 5: WestJet flight 112 from Vancouver to Calgary (rows seven to 13)
  • April 5: Air Canada flight 201 from Calgary to Vancouver (rows 25 to 31)
  • April 6: WestJet flight 449 from Calgary to Victoria (rows four to 10)
  • April 6: Air Canada flight 7 from Vancouver to Hong Kong (rows 38 to 44)
  • April 6: Air Canada flight 212 from Vancouver to Calgary (rows 15 to 21)
  • April 7: Air Canada flight 128 from Vancouver to Toronto (rows 32 to 36)
  • April 7: Air India flight 185 from Delhi to Vancouver (rows not reported)
  • April 7: Air Canada flight 233 from Calgary to Vancouver (rows 19 to 25)
  • April 8: Air Canada flight 8625 from Winnipeg to Vancouver (rows unknown)
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Anyone who was on any of the listed flights should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, seeking testing and self-isolating if any develop, according to the BCCDC.

Passengers who were seated in the rows listed are considered to be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because of their proximity to a confirmed case of the disease.

International travellers are required to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test before being allowed to board flights bound for Canada. They are also required to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the country. The first three nights of that quarantine must be spent in a government-approved hotel.

No such requirements exist for domestic travellers, though health officials continue to warn against non-essential travel within Canada.

B.C. health officials do not directly contact everyone who was on a flight that had a coronavirus case on board. Instead, notifications are published on the BCCDC website.

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