British Columbia’s health officials have revealed that there have been 272 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, with zero of those cases linked to the Island Health region.
The total number of active cases in British Columbia has increased to 2,390 – a rise of 46 from October 29 – while 6,003 residents remain under active public health monitoring.
On Friday, there was one additional death related to the virus, meaning the provincial total over the course of the pandemic is 263.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says that there are currently 78 individuals hospitalized from COVID-19 in B.C. – a decrease of eight since Thursday – with 25 people in intensive care (increasing by one from Thursday).
As of Friday, the total number of cases in British Columbia over the course of the pandemic has been 14,381.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4,664 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 8,219 in the Fraser Health region, 256 in the Island Health region, 741 in the Interior Health region, 412 in the Northern Health region and 89 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a written statement that there have been three new health-care facility outbreaks as of Friday as well. Outbreaks have been reported at Hawthorne Seniors Care Community, CareLife Fleetwood and Queen’s Park Hospital unit 3C NMSK 2.
While three new outbreaks were reported on Friday, another three came to an end. The outbreaks at Fort Langley Seniors Community, The Village and Sunset Manor and Good Samaritan Victoria Heights have been declared over. In total, 24 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
Active cases within the Island Health region have decreased to 8.
Of those active cases, three are in the South Vancouver Island area, three are in the Central Vancouver Island region, while two are located on the northern parts of Vancouver Island.
Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.
Central Vancouver Island includes the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino areas.
Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.
With Halloween coming up this weekend, Health officials also issued a reminder to British Columbians to stay safe and keep gatherings small.
“As we all enjoy Halloween tomorrow, make it about the treats and not the tricks. Respect homes that are choosing not to participate this year and give everyone the space to stay safe, both indoors and outdoors,” reads a joint statement from Dix and Dr. Henry.
“There are many ways to make fun memories this fall. This weekend is a great opportunity to be outside, enjoying the fall foliage and Halloween decorations.”
According to Dr. Henry and Minister Dix, surveillance will be increased this weekend as authorities monitor for large gatherings.
“Now is not the time for parties or large gatherings in our homes. Instead, let’s spend time with others in a safe way, outside or in venues that have COVID-19 safety plans in place,” reads the joint statement.
Earlier this week, Dr. Henry announced new limitations for the number of people that could visit our homes, restricting gatherings to immediate household members and a “safe six.”
The BC Centre for Disease Control has also released a set of guidelines aimed at helping British Columbians stay safe this year on Halloween.
The BC CDC is advising British Columbians to try to incorporate a non-medical mask or face covering into costumes. With this in mind, officials are suggesting that costume masks should not be worn over non-medical masks or face coverings as that may make it difficult to breathe.
Health officials are asking for anyone trick-or-treating to stay in their own neighbourhoods this year and avoid busy areas or indoors (in places like malls).
It is also being recommended that homeowners find creative ways to hand out treats while keeping physical distance and limiting contact. For any homeowner feeling ill, the BC CDC asks them to turn off their porch lights and stay home.
“Let’s make this weekend a safe and fun experience by keeping our groups small and by practising our COVID-19 sense,” concludes the written statement.
More COVID-19 information
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, public health contacts affected school community members directly. Regional health authorities also post school notifications on their websites, providing the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure) for impacted schools.
The Island Health school site can be found here.
Island Health’s COVID-19 data breaks down North, Central and South Island case counts and lists the number of days since any new lab-diagnosed cases. You can find the data here along with any public exposures.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is more than 45.4 million. More than 1.18 million deaths have been recorded.