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B.C. reporting new record 1120 COVID-19 cases over the weekend, 36 across Interior Health – radionl.com

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B.C. health officials are reporting a new weekend record of 1,120 cases of COVID-19 this past weekend, taking the total case load to 15,501 since the pandemic began.

Active cases were up to a new record of 2,945, with another 6,448 people being monitored after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus – also a new record.

There were 36 new cases across the Interior Health Authority taking the total case count here to 777 cases while Fraser Health saw another 830 new cases, with another 234 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Between Friday and Saturday, there were 352 new cases, a new daily record 389 cases from Saturday to Sunday, and another 279 cases from Sunday into Monday.

“These numbers are concerning to all of us, but we have learned a lot about COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic,”, said deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson.

“Testing to identify new cases, contact tracing to contain further transmission and using our layers of protection are the cornerstones of our response and the tools we will continue to use as we navigate this pandemic.”

She also says the goal of public health officials will continue to be minimizing severe illness and death while keeping communities as open as possible.

“We are going to see fluctuations and surges in some communities. And when we do, increased effort and stepped up focus will be applied, using all of the public health measures we have available to us,” Gustafson said.

“We have seen that the vast majority of people in B.C. are spending time with people outside of their household in safe and responsible ways. We thank the many businesses and organizations who are allowing that to take place with robust COVID-19 safety plans in place.”

There were also six new deaths reported today – five in Vancouver Coastal Health and one in Fraser Health – taking the provincial death toll from COVID-19 to 269 people.

“We are entering the 11th month of this pandemic. We need to continue to live well and live safely,” Gustafson added. “If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID19, please respond to contact tracing. Public health is here to help, not to judge.”

She expects there to be fluctuations and surges in COVID-19 cases as the weather gets cooler.

“The recent increase cases in the Lower Mainland, and particularly in Fraser Health, are an example of this,” Gustafson said. “We know that being inside, and in close contact with others increases our risk, and that has been a significant cause of new cases in recent weeks. That’s why it’s important to keep our group small, at home and elsewhere.”

There are now 90 people in hospital with COVID-19, 19 of which are critical or intensive case.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says video on social media that showed hundreds of people crowding Granville Street for Halloween festivities over the weekend was irritating.

“It’s a very irritating event because I think it was a visible symbol of people not following the rules of gathering, which are limited to 50 people,” Dix said.

“This is not an easy time for anybody, we’re human beings, and as human beings our greatest strengths can sometimes be our greatest weakness, our desire to be together in a time of pandemic those connections that we count on and need to come together are the things that COVID-19 seeks.”

Dix said a bigger problem is house parties and private gatherings, which are not visible on social media but are fuelling the province’s rising case numbers.

“This is an unusual time,” he said. “Let’s celebrate virtually and with the people in our household. We need to turn the tide. I believe we can do that. I ask everyone listening to us today and all the people you may talk to today to recommit to stop the spread.”

There are now 12,207 people who tested positive for COVID-19 who are considered to have recovered.

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Some Northern COVID-19 patients transferred to Island Health – My PG Now

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Northern Health is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 activity and hospitalizations.

As part of the provincial response, some patients have been transferred to other locations, the health authority explained.

Recently, two patients have been transferred from Northern Health to Island Health facilities, however, more detailed information on where those patients were originally from is not available.

Provincial transfer protocols are in place to support patients, and those protocols include strict COVID-19 health and safety measures.

“We can’t predict precisely what referral or transfer patterns may look like – especially for individual patients or locations; those decisions would be based on the care needs of a patient, and available hospital (inpatient and staffing) capacity in any given area at the time,” said spokesperson Eryn Collins in a statement.

Collins says not all patients in critical care units are COVID patients, either.

Across Northern Health there are 41 critical care beds, with an additional 23 ‘surge’ beds should the need arise, for a total of 64.

Currently, 24 of the 64 beds in the region are occupied.

There are also approximately 100 ventilators available, including transport ventilators.

However, Collins explains ventilator numbers fluctuate.

“All NH sites have transport ventilators; there is also a provincial supply of ventilators that can be deployed to areas of need. Finally, each of our hospitals has a pandemic plan, which includes identifying where patients would be cared for based on their care needs,” Collins added.

Breakdown by COVID-19 site as of November 30:

Northern Health (regionally): 41 base beds – 24 occupied, 17 unoccupied, 23 surge beds 23 unoccupied

Fort St. John Hospital: (5 ventilators, +4 transport) One of the four beds is occupied.

Mills Memorial Hospital, Terrace: (5 ventilators, +2 transport) Three of the nine beds are occupied.

University Hospital of Northern BC, Prince George: (20 ventilators, +4 transport) 15 of the 39 beds are occupied.

Other NH acute care facilities: (3 ventilators, +10 transport) Five of the 12 beds are occupied

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Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, BC doctor says – Keremeos Review

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Sports teams have continued to travel into or out of B.C. and COVID-19 infections have spread as a result, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

“We know there are many people who want to travel, who are coming here from other provinces for recreation and sport, and we know that there are sports teams in B.C. that have travelled to other provinces despite the restrictions that we’ve put in place,” Henry said at a pandemic briefing Dec. 2.

“For example, there’s a hockey team in the Interior that travelled to Alberta and has come back, and now there are dozens of people who are affected and it has spread in the community. We need to stop, right now, to protect our communities and our families and our health care workers.”

B.C.’s current advisory against all non-essential travel in or out of B.C. is set to expire on Monday, Dec. 7, and Premier John Horgan says Henry and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control team will determine by then if that will be extended. Wednesday’s result of 834 new cases and 12 additional deaths is a jump from earlier this week and suggests restrictions on travel and gatherings will likely continue.

RELATED: B.C. prepares immunization plan as vaccines approved

RELATED: B.C. tourism assistance coming soon, Horgan says

Henry noted that B.C.’s travel advisory is not an order and the province can’t effectively sort out what is non-essential travel.

“I cannot stop you by an order from getting into your car or going onto a plane,” she said. “But I’m asking in the strongest of terms for us to stay put.”

With the holiday season approaching, a visiting relative is not considered non-essential travel.

“Making an exception for yourself, your team or your recreational needs puts a crack in our wall, and we see that this virus can exploit that very easily at this time of year,” Henry said. “I do say, though, if you have a family member who is returning home for the holidays, then that is important and that is fine. But it is critical that when they come here, they need follow all of our orders and guidelines that we have in place. That means no socializing, no going outside the home and having parties and gatherings of any kind right now.”


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, BC doctor says – Revelstoke Review

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Sports teams have continued to travel into or out of B.C. and COVID-19 infections have spread as a result, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

“We know there are many people who want to travel, who are coming here from other provinces for recreation and sport, and we know that there are sports teams in B.C. that have travelled to other provinces despite the restrictions that we’ve put in place,” Henry said at a pandemic briefing Dec. 2.

“For example, there’s a hockey team in the Interior that travelled to Alberta and has come back, and now there are dozens of people who are affected and it has spread in the community. We need to stop, right now, to protect our communities and our families and our health care workers.”

B.C.’s current advisory against all non-essential travel in or out of B.C. is set to expire on Monday, Dec. 7, and Premier John Horgan says Henry and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control team will determine by then if that will be extended. Wednesday’s result of 834 new cases and 12 additional deaths is a jump from earlier this week and suggests restrictions on travel and gatherings will likely continue.

RELATED: B.C. prepares immunization plan as vaccines approved

RELATED: B.C. tourism assistance coming soon, Horgan says

Henry noted that B.C.’s travel advisory is not an order and the province can’t effectively sort out what is non-essential travel.

“I cannot stop you by an order from getting into your car or going onto a plane,” she said. “But I’m asking in the strongest of terms for us to stay put.”

With the holiday season approaching, a visiting relative is not considered non-essential travel.

“Making an exception for yourself, your team or your recreational needs puts a crack in our wall, and we see that this virus can exploit that very easily at this time of year,” Henry said. “I do say, though, if you have a family member who is returning home for the holidays, then that is important and that is fine. But it is critical that when they come here, they need follow all of our orders and guidelines that we have in place. That means no socializing, no going outside the home and having parties and gatherings of any kind right now.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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