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BCCDC adds 13 more B.C. flights to COVID-19 public exposures list

face-masks-on-plane
Canadian airlines require passengers to wear masks while travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic. (via Getty Images)

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 (Nov. 28) warned passengers who travelled aboard the following 13 flights that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus while flying in or out of the province recently:

  • Nov 15: Air Canada 45, Delhi to Vancouver
  • Nov 15: Air Canada 114, Vancouver to Toronto
  • Nov 17: Air Canada 314 , Vancouver to Montreal
  • Nov 17: Air Canada 8421, Kelowna to Vancouver
  • Nov 18: Air Canada 202, Vancouver to Calgary
  • Nov 19: Air Canada 103, Vancouver to Toronto
  • Nov 19: Air Canada 114 , Vancouver to Toronto
  • Nov 19: Air Canada 225 , Calgary to Vancouver
  • Nov 22: Air Canada 1126, Kelowna to Vancouver
  • Nov 20: Flair 8102, Calgary to Vancouver
  • Nov 25: Cathay Pacific 865, Vancouver to Hong Kong
  • Nov 25: United Airlines 1641, Denver to Vancouver
  • Nov 27: Air Canada 8417, Kelowna to Vancouver

For some flights, the BCCDC lists which rows are most likely to have been affected by the exposure, due to those passengers' proximity to the known case.

Saturday's update comes following numerous B.C. flights that have been identified in recent days for carrying one or more individuals who have since tested positive for the virus, including five recent flights the BCCDC announced Thursday. 

The latest additions to the list were announced one day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a record high 911 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 10,430 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 earlier this month instructing British Columbians to avoid any non-essential travel outside their home communities until at least Dec. 7. 

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."

- with files from Elana Shepert and Lindsay William-Ross, Vancouver Is Awesome, and The Canadian Press