B.C. suffers deadliest weekend of the pandemic with 46 deaths from COVID-19, plus 2,077 cases
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia lost another 46 lives to COVID-19 over the weekend, health officials announced Monday in a sombre coronavirus update.
The dozens of deaths recorded since Friday afternoon made it B.C.'s deadliest weekend of the pandemic so far, prompting an urgent plea from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for the public to comply with her strict-but-temporary health orders.
"These people have faces, have names, have stories, have families," said Henry, who was dressed in uncharacteristically dark clothing for the news conference.
"If you are thinking that it might be OK to bend the rules, please remember that this virus takes lives."
Police broke up more parties in Vancouver on Saturday night, dishing out thousands of dollars in fines to people for flouting the current restrictions on social interactions.
B.C. recorded 2,077 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, which pushed the provincial total to 33,238, and broke its previous records for active cases and hospitalizations.
There are now 8,855 active COVID-19 cases across the province and 316 patients in hospital, including 75 in critical care or intensive care.
Most of the latest fatalities involved residents of long-term care facilities, where dozens of new coronavirus outbreaks have been reported in recent weeks.
Their deaths highlight the devastating impact COVID-19 can have when it infiltrates seniors' home, Henry said.
"My heartfelt condolences go out to the families of each of these people – each of the husbands, wives, sons, daughters," Henry said. "We all feel your loss and we mourn with you."
Officials declared five more health-care outbreaks as well, at Mountainview Village, Fleetwood Villa, Lakeview Care Centre, St. Jude's Anglican Home and Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead.
Two others, at Kiwanis Care Centre and Louis Brier Home, have ended, leaving 61 active outbreaks across B.C.'s health-care system.
Health teams are also battling another community outbreak, this time at Newton Elementary School in Surrey. Officials did not provide the number of infections associated with Newton Elementary, but said the school has been closed for two weeks while students and staff self-isolate.
Some 23,111 of B.C.'s confirmed COVID-19 cases have recovered, and there are 10,139 people under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to a known case.