COVID-19 cases in B.C. higher than 'the worst point of the 2nd wave,' premier says
VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s COVID-19 cases have surged higher than they were at "the worst point of the second wave," the premier said Monday.
Health officials announced another 2,518 people tested positive for the disease over the weekend. That includes 936 cases confirmed from Friday to Saturday, marking a new single-day record for the province.
Horgan called the latest case numbers a "call to caution," and made a specific plea to younger people to follow all of B.C.'s public health measures, including new restrictions going into effect at midnight. He said residents between the ages of 20 and 39 are "putting the rest of us in a challenging situation."
“I’m appealing to young people to curtail your social activity," the premier said. "Do not blow this for the rest of us, do not blow this for your parents."
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said another 805 cases were identified from Saturday to Sunday, followed by 777 from Sunday to Monday.
That means the average number of cases per day over the past week is 803, which is the highest it has been since Nov. 27.
Broken down by health regions, Vancouver Coastal Health saw 816 new cases, and Fraser Health saw 1,280 new cases. For the Interior Health region there were 156 new cases, for Northern Health 121. In the Island Health Region, 142 people tested positve and there were three cases recordedamong those who normally reside outside of the province.
Henry also announced another 329 confirmed cases involving variants of concern, bringing the provincial total to 2,233.
That's one reason the provincial health officer cited for officials' decision to introduce a slew of new measures, including a temporary ban on indoor dining at restaurants, the closure of Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, and a halt on all group fitness classes.
Horgan, speaking on the need to follow COVID-19 restrictions, said “we’re not through yet” and “we have weeks and weeks to go and we need to redouble our efforts.”
Henry also announced six more people have died, bringing B.C.'s death toll since the start of the pandemic to 1,455.
There are currently 299 people in hospital with COVID-19, 79 of whom are in critical care.
With Monday's case update, a total of 98,195 people have tested positive for the disease in B.C.
Nearly 12 per cent of the population has now received at minimum a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A total 611,803 people have received a first dose, and 87,289 have received both a first and second dose.
Correction: During their briefing, officials announced that 774 new cases of COVID-19 were identified from Sunday to Monday. They later confirmed it was 777 cases. As well, a previous version of this story said there were 142 cases identified in Vancouver Coastal Health when in fact there were 816.