The past 72 hours have been the deadliest in B.C. since the coronavirus pandemic hit the province.
British Columbia health officials on Monday announced there were 2,354 new cases – including 58 in Island Health – and 46 deaths from COVID-19 reported over the weekend.
The province’s death toll now stands at 441 while the total number of cases recorded in B.C. climbs to 33,238.
During Monday’s update, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, touched on the number of deaths that took place over the weekend, the most in a 72 hour period since the pandemic began.
“This weekend, the oldest person who died from COVID was 103, and you think what that person has gone through,” said an emotional Dr. Henry, who was unable to finish her sentence.
From Friday to Saturday there were 750 new cases, from Saturday to Sunday there were 731 new cases and from Sunday to today (Nov. 30) there were 596 new cases.
Health officials also announced additional 277 historical cases have also been added to the province’s total due to data error in Fraser Health.
Of the new cases, 371 were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,365 plus 277 historical cases in Fraser Health, 58 in Island Health, 112 in Interior Health, and 73 in Northern Health.
There are currently 8,855 active cases in the province, 316 people in hospital – 75 of whom are in intensive care – and 10,139 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.
There were also five new healthcare facility outbreaks over the past 72 hours. There are now 57 active outbreaks at long-term or assisted living facilities and five in acute care facilities. There are 1,338 active cases in long-term care, 847 residents and 487 staff members.
Furthermore, there one community outbreak was reported over the past 72 hours. The outbreak was at Newton Elementary School in Fraser Health, which has since closed and will remain closed for the next two weeks.
A total of 23,111 people have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C.
Island Health has 236 (+53) active cases: 45 (+13) on southern Vancouver Island, 141 (+29) on central Vancouver Island and 37 (+11) on northern Vancouver Island.
Over the course of the pandemic, the Island Health region has reported 629 cases.
Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.
Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.
A ‘significant’ storm ahead
Henry, during Monday’s update, said the province is facing a “significant storm surge” and urged people to “do their part” to slow the transmission of COVID-19.
“If you are thinking it may be OK to bend the rules, please remember that this virus takes lives and it is the lives that are closest to us that are most at risk when we take risks,” she said.
Those who don’t believe in masks or don’t believe in wearing them when they go out, Henry said, should avoid going out altogether.
“If you are somebody who does not believe in masks, then don’t go to those stores. Don’t put other people at risk. Go at a different time. Shop online, find other ways to do what you do,” she said.
Also during the update, Henry was asked about whether the responsibility lies with restaurants to enforce the province’s recent COVID-19 restrictions, which prohibit people from dining with others who are not in their household. She said it is up to British Columbians to follow the rules.
“The onus really is on us, go out with your family, go to a local place, but follow the rules,” she said.