B.C. adds 1,933 new COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths over the weekend
VICTORIA -- Nearly 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 were discovered in B.C. over the weekend, health officials announced Monday.
A total of 1,933 new cases were recorded over a three-day period, with 713 discovered between Friday and Saturday, 626 reported between Saturday and Sunday, and 594 found between Sunday and Monday.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that 17 more people have died of COVID-19 in B.C. over the weekend, bringing the province’s death toll to 348.
Since the pandemic began, B.C. has seen a total of 27,407 cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 7,360 are considered active, including 277 people who are in hospital for treatment, 59 of whom require critical care.
B.C.’s top doctor addressed the new temporary health measures that were put in place across the province last week.
She asks that everyone dial back social interactions and not have any social gatherings inside private households until the health orders expire on Dec. 7. Henry said the majority of recent COVID-19 cases have been transmitted through social events at private homes.
She added that many public social events have been cancelled, including any that are taking place at hotels, restaurants, bars, movie theatres and tourist destinations, like the holiday light display at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island.
Henry notes that the new temporary health orders have cancelled many events “that had previously been approved across the province” this winter.
She said the suspension of events is crucial for health officials to better track how new health measures are affecting the spread of COVID-19.
While events have been postponed, Henry says that businesses and restaurants have been allowed to remain open due relatively low transmission rates.
She said that restaurants provide an important service for communities and that strict rules in place for the industry mean that COVID-19 transmission is rare, if the policies are being properly followed.
That being said, while the temporary health orders are in effect, British Columbians are asked not to eat at a restaurant with anyone outside of their household bubble.
She adds that people who live alone are allowed to include up to two people within their “household bubble” to avoid complete social isolation.
Over the weekend, six more health-care outbreaks were recorded in B.C. At the same time, two were declared over, including an outbreak at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
The province now has 60 active health-care outbreaks. Fifty-four are located at long-term care homes, while six are located at acute care units.
“We need to urgently reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our province,” said Henry, adding that the health-care system was becoming stressed due to the recent surge in virus cases.
Of the weekend’s nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, most were found in the province’s Lower Mainland. Health officials say that 1,304 cases were reported in the Fraser Health region while 414 were discovered in the Vancouver Costal Health region.
Elsewhere in the province, 104 cases were found in the Interior Health region, 48 were reported in the Island Health region and 61 were discovered in the Northern Health region.
Two people who normally live outside of Canada also tested positive for the virus in B.C. over the weekend.
Health officials say that 10,200 people are under active public health monitoring due to exposure to known cases of COVID-19.
Since the pandemic began, 19,069 people have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C.