B.C. announces record-setting number of new cases over 24-hour period

B.C. announces record-setting number of new cases over 24-hour period
Nicholas Pescod/CHEK
B.C. has broken another daily record for new COVID-19 cases.

Various jurisdictions around the world have reported record-setting numbers of new coronavirus cases in recent days.

British Columbia can add its name to the list.

On Monday, B.C. announced 499 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 72 hours, including 174 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Those 174 reported cases are the most ever announced for a single 24-hour period in B.C.

Simply put, B.C. has never reported that many cases in one day.

Unlike some of the other Canadian provinces, British Columbia doesn’t report new cases over the weekend.

Instead, the province waits until the following Monday – or Tuesday if it’s a long weekend – to announce new numbers.

However, data available on the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control’s website lists 183 cases for Sept. 16, a figure that was never announced or released during one of the province’s updates.

A ministry of health spokesperson told CHEK that’s because sometimes the numbers announced by the province for a particular reporting period, or day, are adjusted. Other times, it is because cases may be announced for one day but are counted for a different day due to when they were first reported.

But British Columbia’s record-setting number, whether it is 174 or 183, is much lower than other provinces.

READ: Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. is in second wave as province reports 499 new cases of COVID-19 over weekend

In Alberta, a province with a smaller population and a higher total number of confirmed cases, the highest one-day new case total is 372. However, they have been testing at a much higher rate.

Ontario’s highest one-day total is 1,056, according to that province’s ministry of health.

Quebec’s record is 1,212 new cases in a 24-hour period. Quebec has also recorded more COVID-19 cases than any other province in Canada and has had the most deaths, according to Health Canada’s website.

B.C.’s one-day high of 174 cases also pales in comparison to neighbouring U.S. states.

Washington’s highest one-day total is 1,212 new cases, while in Montana it is an estimated 734 new cases.

South Carolina, a state with a similar-sized population as B.C., has a record one-day total of 2,326 new cases in a 24-hour period.

In Idaho, it is anywhere between 863 and nearly 1,100, as the state has not confirmed all of the new cases 1,096 it reported on Oct. 16 and in Arizona, it is 5,465.

MORE: Island Health notified nearly 1,000 people about possible COVID-19 exposures during first six months of pandemic

Elsewhere, numerous European countries have recorded their highest daily tally of new infections in recent days including Italy, Poland, Germany, Romania, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, and Ireland.

France recently reported more than 32,000 new cases over a 24-hour period, shattered the country’s previous single-day total.

Meanwhile, during her briefing on Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, said the province has officially entered a second wave and that we should be ready.

“One can say that we are in our second wave here of our COVID-19 storm in B.C. but we have control over what that wave looks like,” she said.

Henry said transmissions across the province are continuing and clearly, the virus hasn’t gone anywhere.

“We know that this is expected. This virus has not gone away and it has shown us that it is now quite able to hide and spread in our communities around the province.”

On a positive note, B.C. isn’t experiencing “exponential” growth compared to other places, but that could change if we aren’t careful, according to Henry.

“We need, however, to make sure we are doing what we can to avoid a steep and sudden increase in new cases that we have seen in other parts of Canada, in our neighbouring countries and around the world,” said Henry.

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Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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