B.C. reports 549 new cases over Thanksgiving weekend, including 10 in Island Health

B.C. reports 549 new cases over Thanksgiving weekend, including 10 in Island Health
Province of BC/File photo
Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 on June 11, 2020.

British Columbia is reporting 549 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

The province recorded 170 new cases from Friday to Saturday (passing the last daily record of 165 cases on Sept. 17), 159 from Saturday to Sunday, 119 from Sunday to Monday and 101 from Monday to Tuesday. Ten of the new cases are in Island Health.

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

Of the five new COVID-19 deaths reported over the long weekend, two were in Fraser Health and three were in Vancouver Coastal Health. The B.C. COVID-19 death toll is now 250. None of the five deaths were in long term care, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says while the numbers are higher than they’d like to see, there was also a backlog of about 6,000 tests now completed from last week that increased the count.

According to Henry, the backlog added approximately “an extra day’s worth of tests,” mainly from the Fraser Health region, to the totals of the last four days.

“The backlog has now been cleared and we are working to keep it that way,” she said, adding that the test positive rate remains low at about 1.39 per cent.

There are 77 people in hospital with COVID-19 (nine more than Oct. 9), with 22 in intensive care (three more than Oct. 9).

There have now been 10,734 cases of COVID-19 recorded in B.C. since the start of the pandemic, including 235 in Island Health, 3,892 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 5,595 in Fraser Health, 582 in Interior Health, 341 in Northern Health and 89 among residents outside of Canada (visitors and temporary foreign workers).

A total of 8,974 people have recovered. There are 1,476 active cases (70 more than Oct. 9) and 3,618 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases (438 more than Oct. 9).

There were four new health-care outbreaks reported over the last four days (two in Fraser Health and two in Vancouver Coastal Health), for a total of 20 active outbreaks (17 in long-term care, three in acute care). A total of 919 people affected in long-term care. The affected facilities are:

  • Banfield Pavilion long-term care facility in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Haro Park Centre long-term care facility (second occurrence) in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Point Grey Private Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Weinberg Residence long-term care facility in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Yaletown House long-term care facility in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Chartwell Carrington House assisted- and independent-living facility in Fraser Health
  • Chartwell Crescent Gardens long-term care facility in Fraser Health
  • George Derby Centre long-term care facility in Fraser Health
  • Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre long-term care facility in Fraser Health
  • Harrison West at Elim Village long-term care facility in Fraser Health
  • Kin Village assisted-living facility in Fraser Health
  • Langley Lodge long-term care facility (third occurrence) in Fraser Health
  • New Vista Care Home long-term care facility in Fraser Health
  • Peace Portal Seniors Village long-term care facility in Fraser Health
  • PICS assisted-living facility in Fraser Health
  • Thornebridge Gardens assisted-living facility in Fraser Health
  • White Rock Seniors Village long-term care facility in Fraser Health

The outbreaks at Cherington Place and Evergreen Hamlets have been declared over. There are no new community outbreaks

Henry said she remains optimistic that British Columbians took her advice to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small and local, and that the long weekend will not lead to a spike in cases.

“Hopefully, people took this to heart. Really, it’s about protecting those who are close to us,” she said.

Island Health

Island Health has recorded 235 cases since the start of the pandemic.

There are 17 active cases in Island Health. Of those, seven are in southern Vancouver Island, seven are in central Vancouver Island and three in northern Vancouver Island.

There are changes in active cases due to recoveries of previous cases. A case can be removed from the active list if it has been 10 days since the onset of symptoms and the case would no longer be considered isolating in the community, according to Island Health.

There are no COVID-19 hospitalizations in Island Health. A total of 212 people have recovered in the health authority.

COVID-19 numbers in Island Health on Oct. 13, 2020 (Island Health)

COVID-19 numbers in Island Health on Oct. 13, 2020 (Island Health)

More COVID-19 information

The Provincial Health Services Authority of B.C. says the phone number is getting more than 10,000 calls per day for COVID-19 testing and that’s causing delays of up to two weeks or more.

On Tuesday, Henry said that people who are waiting for results should continue to self-isolate, but she recognizes that is a burden and health officials are working on reducing the wait.

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.

B.C. has posted detailed information about the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases from January to September 2020. This map will be updated monthly, according to B.C. health officials.

Geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases in B.C. from January to September 2020 (BC CDC)

Geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases in B.C. from January to September 2020 (BC CDC)

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 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 in the province, including links to exposures listed on health authority websites, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website (CDC) here.

According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is more than 37.9 million. More than one million deaths have been recorded.

With files from CBC and The Canadian Press

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