COVID-19 in B.C.: Record set for active cases, hospitalization as province adds 834 cases, 12 deaths
VANCOUVER -- B.C. has added 834 more cases of COVID-19 to its total, as well as 12 more deaths from the disease.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the new numbers Wednesday during a live briefing.
There are now 8,941 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., another new record. Of that total, 337 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus, which is also a record. There are 79 people in intensive care with the virus.
Since the pandemic began, the province has recorded 34,728 cases of COVID-19 and 469 deaths.
Henry also announced multiple new outbreaks of the disease on Wednesday, including two community outbreaks in the Fraser Health region, at The Cove Shelter in Surrey and at Millennium Pacific Greenhouses in Delta.
Three more health-care facilities have had outbreaks of the coronavirus declared: Royal City Manor long-term care home in New Wesminster, Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Saanich and West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni.
With 54 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care in the province and a recent spike in the number of daily deaths B.C. has seen, Henry highlighted the need for British Columbians to overcome their pandemic fatigue.
"We hope and expect that vaccines will be ready in the next few weeks," the provincial health officer said. "But this virus continues to move and move quickly between us, and it takes lives. Another 12 families have been affected today, and we are continuing to see unchecked transmission in many places despite our efforts."
A total of 10,201 people are under active public health monitoring because of exposures to known cases of COVID-19, Henry said, adding that public health orders she has put in place must be followed to get the province through the rest of the pandemic's second wave.
"Those are there because we know that these are situations where this virus can spread very easily now," she said. "It's not about bad people or people doing the wrong things, it's the fact that we know this virus can spread even in places where we thought it was safe with the guidelines we had in place just a few months ago."
Henry also repeated her plea to British Columbians and residents of other provinces to stay home and avoid travelling outside of their local communities.
She acknowledged that it has been a "challenge" for people to limit their travel, citing examples of people travelling to and from B.C. for recreation and sports, despite health officials' warnings.
The provincial health officer shared the specific example of an "old-timers'" hockey team from B.C.'s Interior that travelled to Alberta. She declined to identify the team or where it was from, saying her understanding is that it's not a unique case. She described it as a "cautionary tale."
"Now, there are dozens of people who are infected and it has spread in the community," Henry said. "We need to stop. Right now. To protect our communities and our families and our health-care workers. This is avoidable, and these are the measures that we need to take."
Wednesday's new outbreaks come alongside five outbreaks that have been declared over, including the care home outbreaks at Cottage Worthington Pavilion in Abbotsford, Discovery Harbour Care Centre in Campbell River and Orchard Manor in Kelowna.
The other two health-care outbreaks recently concluded are at acute-care units at Burnaby Hospital and Langley Memorial Hospital.
Most of the new cases added Wednesday are located in the Lower Mainland, with 529 in Fraser Health and 174 in Vancouver Coastal Health.
Elsewhere in the province, 66 cases have been added in Interior Health, 45 in Northern Health and 20 in Island Health.