B.C. tops 2,000 active cases of COVID-19 for the first time after record-breaking week
VANCOUVER -- Health officials in British Columbia announced 223 more cases of COVID-19 Friday, but no new deaths from the coronavirus.
There are currently 2,009 active cases of the virus in the province, the largest total ever. Seventy-five people are in hospital with the disease, including 24 who are in intensive care.
Friday was the third consecutive day on which B.C. added more than 200 cases to its total. It was also only the third day since the pandemic began that the province has recorded more than 200 cases, and the second-highest daily total ever recorded, behind only Thursday's record-setting 274 cases.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and deputy health minister Stephen Brown announced Friday's numbers in a written statement.
The pair also announced several new outbreaks, including two community outbreaks at workplaces in the Fraser Health region and two outbreaks at health-care facilities.
The community outbreaks were declared at Coast Spas Manufacturing in Langley and at Pace Processing in Surrey. In a separate news release, the health authority said 12 employees at Coast Spas and 10 at Pace Processing had tested positive for COVID-19.
Henry and Brown also announced that outbreaks had been declared at Laurel Place in Surrey and at Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge in Burnaby, both long-term care homes.
Fraser Health said a single staff member at each facility had tested positive for the coronavirus, as had a staff member at Dr. Al Hogg Pavilion in White Rock, which was not mentioned in the statement from Henry and Brown.
“In recent days, we have seen a number of new outbreaks of COVID-19 in the community and in long-term care facilities," the pair said in their statement. "Contact-tracing teams throughout our province are working around the clock to stop further spread, but it requires all of us to do our part to be successful in these efforts."
Four health-care outbreaks have also been declared over, leaving the province with 18 active outbreaks in its health-care system, including 16 in long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two in acute care.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 12,554 total cases of COVID-19 recorded in B.C. and 256 deaths.
As of Friday, health officials were monitoring 4,637 people because of exposures to known cases of COVID-19.
Henry and Brown urged British Columbians to "take a step back" from social interactions this weekend and keep gatherings small.
In her live update on Thursday, Henry pointed to social gatherings - particularly for weddings, funerals and other significant events - as a major cause of coronavirus transmission in the province. She suggested that new regulations around such gatherings could be put in place to try to slow down the spread.
In their statement Friday, Henry and Brown also urged B.C. residents not to rush to judgment in assessing the behaviour of others.
"None of us know the stories and experiences of those around us, so let’s make this weekend one of compassion and care for everyone," the pair said.
Most of B.C.'s cases of COVID-19 have been located in the Lower Mainland, but the disease has spread to every region of the province.
There have been 6,864 confirmed cases in the Fraser Health region, 4,319 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 662 in Interior Health, 371 in Northern Health and 250 in Island Health. There have also been 88 cases recorded in B.C. among people who reside outside Canada.
A total of 10,247 people who have had COVID-19 in B.C. are now considered recovered.