B.C. records 516 new COVID-19 cases, including 17 new cases in Island Health

B.C. records 516 new COVID-19 cases, including 17 new cases in Island Health
Province of BC
Health Minister Adrian Dix and Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provide an update on COVID-19 on November 19, 2020.

British Columbia has recorded 516 new cases of COVID-19, including 17 new cases in Island Health, over the last 24 hours.

B.C. health officials have also reported 10 new deaths, bringing the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 331.

Three of the new cases are epidemiologically-linked, meaning people who were never tested but presumed to have COVID-19 because they developed symptoms and were close contacts of a laboratory-confirmed case.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, released Friday’s numbers in a statement.

Of the new cases, 17 are in the Island Health region, 148 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 294 are in the Fraser Health region, 31 are in the Interior Health region, 25 are in the Northern Health region and there are no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There are now 7,122 active cases of COVID-19 in the province (193 more than Nov. 19).

There are 227 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (10 more than Nov. 19), 57 of whom are in intensive care (two fewer than Nov. 20).

A total of 10,002 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases (25 more than Nov. 19) and 17,477 people who tested positive have recovered.

There are three new health-care facility outbreaks at Agecare Harmony Court Care Centre, Discovery Harbour Care and Youville Residence. There have been no new community outbreaks.

“Yesterday, new and expanded provincial health officer’s orders came into effect around the province. The orders will help us slow the spread of COVID-19; to relieve the pressure on our health-care system and reduce the risks within our communities,” Henry and Dix said in Friday’s statement.

“The provincewide orders are about all of us seeing fewer people, having safer workplaces and pausing higher risk activities.

“The orders on social gatherings and events are to keep our families and friends safe. The best way to do that is to decrease our social interactions and spend as little time as possible with those outside of our immediate household.

“In our workplaces, we want to be using all of the tools and resources to keep employees and customers safe and, importantly, keep as many businesses as possible open.

“We also know that physical activity is key to our mental and physical well-being. The orders on group physical activities pause the activities that have proven to be high risk and continue the many other fitness activities and sports that are much safer for all of us right now.

“We also strongly recommend that everyone focus on essential travel only and put aside recreational or social travel for now. It is not about community boundaries, it is about only going where we really need to right now.

“We are all feeling the strain of COVID-19. By taking a step back right now, we will all be able to enjoy the confidence in knowing that here in B.C. we have flattened our curve once again.

“Today, on World Children’s Day, let’s look to our future generations and the brightness ahead, and let’s do our part for every child in our province, our nation and the world.”

Island Health

Island Health has 128 active cases: 31 in the southern Vancouver Island area, 81 in the central Vancouver Island area and 12 in the northern Vancouver Island area.

There have been 446 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. According to the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard,

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.

Island Health's COVID-19 numbers as of Nov. 20, 2020.

Island Health’s COVID-19 numbers as of Nov. 20, 2020.

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.

Island Health has seven current COVID-19 school exposures listed:

  • A cluster at Dover Bay Secondary, 6135 McGirr Rd. Nanaimo on Nov. 2, 5, 6.
  • A cluster at John Barsby Secondary 550 Seventh St. Nanaimo. The first exposure was on Nov. 5,6. The second exposure was Nov. 9, 10.
  • An exposure at Frank J Ney Elementary 5301 Williamson Rd. Nanaimo on Nov. 12.
  • A cluster at Randerson Ridge Elementary 6021 Nelson Rd., Nanaimo on Nov. 4,5,6, 9, 10
  • An exposure at Ladysmith Secondary School 710 6th Ave. Ladysmith on Nov. 9, 10, 12, 13
  • An exposure at Alberni District Secondary School 4000 Roger St. Port Alberni on Nov. 12, 13
  • An exposure at Lakeview Christian School 729 Cordova Bay Rd. Victoria on Nov. 16.

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.

To see B.C.’s COVID-19 numbers by day and health authority, along with testing numbers, positivity rates and recoveries, visit the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard.  The numbers are updated at 4:30 p.m. PT each weekday.

To see a list of all provincial public COVID-19 exposures and outbreaks in the province, including links to exposures and outbreaks listed on health authority websites, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website ( BC CDC) here.

Island Health has three current COVID-19 outbreaks.

One was reported on Nov. 11 at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after transmission in the transitional care unit. Five staff members tested positive and Island Health said Tuesday no other new COVID-19 cases had been associated with the outbreak to date.

The other outbreak was reported on Nov. 16 at the Tsawaayuss (Rainbow Gardens) long-term care home in Port Alberni. That outbreak, which was declared after a staff member tested positive, is confined to the long-term care building. A resident of the building has also tested positive for COVID-19.

The third outbreak was declared at Discovery Harbour long-term care home in Campbell River on Nov. 19 after a staff member tested positive.

There is possible COVID-19 exposure at Browns Socialhouse at 1661 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 5.

And there is possible COVID-19 exposure at Irish Times Pub at 1200 Government St. in Victoria on Nov. 13 between 5 and 8:30 p.m.

Island Health provides updates on the locations and times of known possible exposures to COVID-19 to the public in our region when they are unable to reach or identify all individuals potentially exposed via contact tracing. A close contact exposure means face-to-face contact for an extended period of time with a person who is infectious.

The possible exposures listed are believed to be low risk but, out of an abundance of caution, Island Health asks that anyone who may have visited any of the locations listed on the specified dates and times to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

And the BC CDC has set up a COVID-19 epidemiology dashboard, which compares B.C. to other jurisdictions nationally and globally. It will be available on Tuesdays and Fridays.

According to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is more than 57 million. More than 1.3 million deaths have been recorded.

New provincial orders

Social gatherings

All indoor or outdoor events as defined in our Gathering and Events order are prohibited. This includes religious, cultural or community events, with the exception of baptisms, funerals and weddings. These may proceed with up to 10 people including an officiant if a COVID-19 safety plan is in place. There are to be no associated receptions of any kind in any venue.

There are to be no social gatherings at residences with anyone other than those who reside there. People who live alone must host no gatherings, but can continue to see one or two of the same members of their core pandemic bubble at home.

Group physical activities

Businesses, recreation centres or other venues that organize or operate indoor group spin classes, hot yoga and high-intensity interval training will stop for the fall and winter.

Guidance on other physical activities done with a group indoors will need to follow updated guidance that is being developed.

Sports activities can continue, but there is to be no travel outside of communities for games or competitions, and no spectators are allowed. League organizers should continue planning for 2021 with today’s modifications in mind.

Workplace safety

All businesses and worksites must conduct active daily screening of all on-site workers using their COVID-19 safety plans.

Workers and customers must wear masks in indoor public and retail spaces (except when eating or drinking), and in workplace common areas, including elevators, hallways, group or break rooms, kitchens and customer counters.

Office-based employers should temporarily suspend their efforts to safely get employees back to their workplace and support work-from-home options wherever possible.


All non-essential travel outside of one’s community is strongly discouraged. People travelling to stay with immediate family members should ensure they do not host or participate in any social gatherings.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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