B.C. adds 335 cases of COVID-19, sets new record for active caseload
Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
VANCOUVER -- Health officials announced another 335 COVID-19 infections in British Columbia on Wednesday, as the province set yet another record for active cases.
The update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the total number of cases identified across B.C. since the start of the pandemic at 16,135, and pushed the active caseload to a record high of 3,120.
Officials also reported one more COVID-19 fatality, leaving the provincial death toll at 273.
"We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic," Henry and Dix said in a joint written statement.
The number of people hospitalized with the disease remained at 92, while the number of patients in intensive care increased to 25, up from 22 at the last update.
B.C. has recorded upwards of 300 COVID-19 cases on four of the last five days, following a weekend that saw multiple case records shattered in the province.
And the massive crowds of people who gathered for Halloween events in downtown Vancouver on Saturday could spell more trouble in the weeks ahead. The novel coronavirus has an incubation period of up to 14 days.
Henry and Dix also announced three new outbreaks in health-care facilities, at Hawthorne Seniors Care Community, White Rock Senior Village and Village at Mill Creek.
The outbreak at Peace Portal Seniors Village was declared over, leaving 31 active outbreaks across the health-care system, including two at acute care facilities.
A new community outbreak has also been discovered at La Casa resort in West Kelowna, while the outbreak at a Tim Horton's location in Merritt has ended.
While much of the province's alarming surge in cases has been centred in the Fraser Health region, which spans from Burnaby to Boston Bar, Henry and Dix noted that "the risks are everywhere and no community or person is immune."
"As we have seen before, a small cluster in one region can quickly become an outbreak in another. That is why provincewide orders are in place throughout B.C. and why we all need to use our layers of protection – all the time," they said.
"Let’s remember to wash our hands frequently and wear a mask when inside close or public spaces, and let’s also keep our groups small inside and outside our homes."
Another 229 people recovered from COVID-19 since Tuesday's update, putting the total number of recovered cases in B.C. at 12,659.
The number of people under active health monitoring due to known exposure to COVID-19 cases increased to 7,133.