B.C. records 429 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths over long weekend
VICTORIA -- Health officials in British Columbia announced 429 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths from the virus on Tuesday.
The new cases and deaths were identified over a four-day span since the last update on Friday afternoon. Both deaths were among residents of long-term care facilities in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas.
The province's active cases of the virus have reached a new all-time high, with 1,386 cases now active, according to provincial health officials.
Of those active cases, 32 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, including 12 people in critical or intensive care.
Over the long weekend, 123 new COVID-19 cases were identified between Friday and Saturday; 116 new cases were found between Saturday and Sunday; 107 were found between Sunday and Monday; and 83 were found between Monday and Tuesday.
Twelve of the newly announced cases were epidemiologically-linked, meaning no COVID-19 test was administered though the patient was presumed to have the disease due to symptoms and recent contacts.
An additional 3,063 people are currently under public health monitoring in B.C. due to exposure to the virus.
There were three new outbreaks at health-care centres in the Lower Mainland identified over the weekend. There are now 14 active outbreaks in B.C. health-care centres.
There were no new public outbreaks recorded over the weekend though ongoing exposure events continue in the province.
"It is the time for all of us to cut back on our social interactions," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday. "This is what we all need to do now to reduce our risk of contracting COVID-19 for ourselves and for everyone around us. Keeping our household contacts and our controlled work and school groups safe means having fewer contacts with other people, particularly people we don't know."
Henry acknowledged that there has been significant transmission of the virus since the province embarked on the third phase of its reopening plan. For that reason, she announced the province would order all nightclubs and standalone banquet halls closed immediately and announced restrictions on liquor sales.
"Effective today, all nightclubs and all standalone banquet halls are ordered closed until further notice," Henry said. "In addition, liquor sales in all bars, pubs and restaurants must cease at 10 p.m. and these venues must close at 11 p.m. unless they're providing full meals service, in which case the meal service can continue but they must not serve alcohol."
The provincial health officer also ordered bars and restaurants to keep the volume down on music and televisions so people don't have to speak loudly or get closer to hear each other.
"These restrictions are meant to take away that late-night temptation that people have where we know that there's been mixing going on and where transmission is happening," Henry said.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Premier John Horgan will join Dix and Henry on Wednesday to announce a new pandemic plan for the fall season.
Henry said officials are not considering imposing a curfew to keep residents from socializing, noting that the risk of transmission outdoors remains extremely low.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 6,591 cases of the virus recorded in B.C.
Most of B.C.'s coronavirus cases have been identified in the Lower Mainland, where there have been 3,428 confirmed cases in the Fraser Health region and 2,249 in Vancouver Coastal Health since the pandemic began
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 460 confirmed cases in Interior Health, 184 in Island Health and 186 in Northern Health. Eighty-four people whose cases were recorded in B.C. live outside of Canada.
A total of 4,978 people in B.C. who contracted the virus are now recovered.