FILE – Dr. Réka Gustafson, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, updates the province’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. cabinet offices in Vancouver, Aug. 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

FILE – Dr. Réka Gustafson, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, updates the province’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. cabinet offices in Vancouver, Aug. 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. reports 6 new COVID-19 deaths and a record-breaking 1,120 cases over the weekend

The majority of new cases, and all deaths, happened in the Lower Mainland

B.C. shattered a new set of records with 1,120 new COVID-19 cases over the Halloween weekend, said deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson on Monday (Nov. 2).

Gustafson said six people died due to the virus since Friday, five in Vancouver Coastal Health and one in Fraser Health. All were seniors in long-term care facilities.

Broken down by day, there were 352 new cases from Friday to Saturday, setting the new single-day case record with 389 from Saturday to Sunday and 379 from Sunday to Monday. Fraser Health continue to get the majority of infections, making up 830 (74 per cent) of the weekend’s cases. There were a further 234 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 36 in Interior Health, 10 in Northern Health and nine on Vancouver Island.

There have now been a total of 15,501 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, while the death toll is at 269. There have been three new health care outbreaks for a total of 28 in B.C; 26 are in long-term care and two are in acute care.

There are currently 2,945 active cases in B.C., with 6,448 people under public health monitoring. There are currently 90 in hospital, 19 of whom are in ICU. All currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients are in either Fraser Health or Vancouver Coastal Health.

“These numbers are concerning for all of us,” Gustafson said. “When we do experience these surges, we need to respond with increased effort and stepped up focus.”

After a weekend that saw outrage online over people partying in Downtown Vancouver, Gustafson said health officials still believed that most people were doing their best to slow the spread of the virus.

However, with cases continuing to surge, she said it was “best to avoid all crowded situations and limit your number of contacts” as B.C. heads into the fall and winter holiday season.

VIDEO: Halloween crowds gather in Downtown Vancouver despite B.C. top doctor’s plea to avoid parties

“We know that being inside and in close contact with others increases our risk, and that has been a significant cause of new cases,” Gustafson said. “That’s why it’s important to keep our groups small at home and elsewhere.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province, and the whole world, was “in a significant new phase of the pandemic,” that required people to follow public health guidelines.

“We need to do that together right now. We need to turn the tide on COVID-19 in B.C.,” he said.

Dix said the majority of cases are being transmitted indoors, not at outdoor gatherings. The latest public health order in B.C. limits gatherings at private homes to the household plus their “safe six.” Due to having the majority of new cases, Fraser Health residents are being asked to stick to only their household for in-home gatherings, and to meet at a venue with a COVID-19 safety plan if they wish to include others.

Dix did acknowledge that it must be “incredibly frustrating” for people who have been following public health orders to see crowds flouting COVID-19 rules and recommendations over the weekend.

Gustafson said that while further public health orders to slow transmission are possible, it’s impossible to predict exactly what they will be. The deputy public health officer said that whatever those measures are will be targeted at problem areas for the virus’s spread, and not at activities that are being done safely.

“Thought goes into this, all the time,” she said. “We certainly are monitoring the data all the time.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health issues apology over racist practices in health care system

Report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond finds ‘widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people’

Kathy MacNeil, president and chief executive officer of Island Health, Dawn Thomas, acting deputy health minister and Island Health’s vice president, Indigenous health and diversity and Chief Don Tom of Tsartlip First Nation, stand out Saanich Peninsula Hospital Tuesday morning, when they also answered questions about a new report that “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system. (Island Health/Submitted)
Head of Island Health says Saanich Peninsula Hospital not part of racist guessing game

Tsartlip First Nations Chief Don Tom welcomes changes following report but promises future scrutiny

An air ambulance leaves West Coast General Hospital for a trauma centre at 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 after a Port Alberni youth was injured in an accident on the Somass River. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO
COVID-19 outbreaks at pair of Vancouver Island Hospitals

Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Saanichton and West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni affected

Penny Hart is calling on the community to help find her son Sean Hart who was last seen on Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

A pickup truck was involved in an incident 9:30 p.m. Nov. 30. A witness who took the photo says the truck left the roadway, knocked over a fire hydrant before hitting a parked van and coming to rest in a yard. Photo by Michael Hack
VIDEO: Island pick-up truck takes out numerous vehicles, fire hydrant and hits house

Investigation underway after incident on the side of Campbell River street

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

The IIO’s chief civilian director has cleared Victoria police of any wrongdoing in the Nov. 21 death of a man they had earlier arrested. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation clears Victoria police of wrongdoing in arrested man’s death

Police watchdog determined police action or inaction played no role in man’s death

A West Shore man has been handed two tickets for failing to wear a mask after causing a disturbance at a coffee shop in View Royal and gas station in Langford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man ticketed twice for refusing to wear mask in same day, say West Shore RCMP

Police ask businesses to report incidences when they occur

Protesters stand in front of a truck carrying logs to the WFP Ladysmith log sort. (Cole Schisler photo)
Protesters block entrance to Western Forest Products in Ladysmith

Blockade cleared by Ladysmith RCMP around noon, December 2

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

Most Read