538 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.; 1 more death

PROVINCIAL Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Thursday announced 538 new cases of COVID-19, including nine epi-linked cases, and one new COVID-19-related death in British Columbia.

The total number of COVID-19 cases is now 24,960 and the total number of COVID-19-related deaths now stands at 321 in the province.

There are 6,929 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Currently, 217 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 59 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There are 9,977 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 17,207 people who tested positive have recovered.

There have been 178 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 309 in the Fraser Health region, 12 in the Island Health region, 28 in the Interior Health region, 11 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been four new health-care facility outbreaks at Cottage-Worthington Pavilion, Langley Memorial Hospital, The Residence at Clayton Heights and Windermere Care Centre.

There has been one new community outbreak at JGC Fluor BC LNG Joint Venture, a contracted site of the LNG Canada plant and project in Kitimat.

Henry and Dix said: “The change in season is affecting the ways and places we interact with others and this, in turn, is affecting how COVID-19 is spreading in our communities.

“This virus never rests and the trends that started in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions are now evident throughout the province.

“While we may feel frustrated or disheartened, we must remember that we flattened our curve before and we can again.

“Our individual actions do make a difference and our public health teams are here to support us in our efforts.

“On November 7, we issued regional orders to slow the rapid transmission we are seeing in social interactions, in certain workplaces and in higher-risk indoor settings, like group fitness activities.

“We are now expanding and amending these provincial health officer orders across the province. As was the case for the previous regional orders, the new provincewide orders focus on three areas: social gatherings, workplaces and group physical activities. Each is outlined in the backgrounder below.

“Our focus is to slow the spread over the next one to two incubation periods and protect those who are most at risk.

“The coming weeks will be the most difficult in our pandemic, but hope is on the horizon. We can protect the ones we love and keep our hospitals, schools and workplaces open if we remain focused on reducing our in-person interactions for now.

“To support the continued safe operation of schools, the provincial health officer has created a rapid response team that will identify and manage exposures and outbreaks in Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health region schools, and enhance communication with school communities.

“To support comprehensive workplace COVID-19 safety plans, active inspections will be increased across the province. Businesses that do not comply will be subject to fines and/or ordered to close. Environmental health officers will focus on workplaces in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions to ensure full compliance and enable rapid response and action.

“As we approach the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, we should remind each other that it is also the day that we begin to turn back toward the light. By pulling together now we can overcome the challenges before us.”

For more details on today’s orders, visit: http://gov.bc.ca/covid19