Friday was yet another record-breaking day in B.C.’s second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 617 new confirmed cases of the disease of 167 patients in hospital. Both of those numbers are the highest seen to date.
Two more people have died and there are now 5,579 active cases of COVID-19 across the province, according to a written statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Of the patients who are being treated in hospital, 50 are in intensive care. The last few days have seen a major spike in the province’s hospitalization rate; the total number of patients has risen by 60 per cent compared to just one week ago.
“We need to act now to protect our loved ones, our elders and our communities,” Henry and Dix said. “This weekend, we encourage everyone to have a safe start to Diwali celebrations by staying home, limiting your travel and connecting virtually instead.”
To date, B.C. has confirmed 20,985 cases of COVID-19 and 290 people have died. There are currently 12,016 people under active monitoring by public health workers because of exposure to people with known cases of the disease.
The influx of new cases continues to be intensely focused in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions. The majority of B.C. cases are currently being transmitted through social interactions in private settings, such as private wedding receptions or funeral services.
Of the cases announced Friday, 69 per cent were in the Fraser Health region and 21 per cent were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
There have been three new health-care outbreaks at Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna, Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver and Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond, while another four have been declared over, leaving 35 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and six in acute care facilities.
Surge in cases stretches contact tracers ‘to the max’
“When faced with a resurgence of COVID-19, it can be difficult to muster the strength to keep moving forward, yet British Columbians continue to show unwavering resilience and fortitude to support friends and neighbours in our communities and take care of those who are most at risk, by following the orders and using our layers of protection,” Dix and Henry said.
“Now is the time for everyone, right across our province, to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 — to be leaders by working together with a common purpose to push our curve back down.”
The latest epidemiological modelling presented Thursday showed COVID-19 cases in B.C. have been doubling every 13 days, making it harder for public health to keep up and break the chain of transmission. Henry said Thursday that contact tracers are “stretched to the max” and falling behind.
The modelling showed schools have not been a major hotspot for transmission. Nine out of 10 schools haven’t had any exposures at all since school resumed in September, and only one has had a recorded outbreak.
Sweeping new restrictions for the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions are still in effect, focusing on social gatherings, non-essential travel, indoor group exercise and behaviour at work. The orders, which Henry described as a regional “circuit break,” will remain in effect until noon on Nov. 23. By then, public health officials will have a better understanding of whether people living in Metro Vancouver can return to some social interactions.
Fire at Burnaby Hospital a factor in COVID-19 outbreak affecting 55 patients – Global News
Forty staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and health officials are working to determine if they are connected to the outbreak.
The hospital is not accepting new admissions, Fraser Health said, with the exception of the intensive care unit, maternity unit, and community palliative care.
Fraser Health declared an outbreak at the hospital on Nov. 9 after finding evidence of transmission in a medicine unit.
A fire at the hospital on Nov. 16 appears to have contributed to the outbreak, the health authority said, as patients had to be moved into different areas of the hospital during the blaze for their safety.
RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the fire.
Burnaby hospital emergency room temporarily closed after fire
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Golden Links Lodge addresses concerns over group activities held prior to COVID outbreak – CTV News Winnipeg
The COVID-19 outbreak at Golden Links Lodge in Winnipeg continues to grow, and now the care home is responding to questions about recreational activities that had been taking place inside the facility prior to the outbreak.
According to the latest numbers from the care home, there have been 53 cases among residents and 20 cases among care home staff.
The province said three people have died, leaving family members concerned about their loved ones.
On Nov. 15 Jordan Hanna found out his grandma tested positive for the disease.
“It’s a flood of fear,” said Hanna.
There have been more than 70 cases linked to Golden Links Lodge since an outbreak was declared on Nov. 11.
Photos posted on the Golden Links Facebook page on Nov. 6 show residents gathered inside the care home for a worship service. Three days later it showed them taking part in an exercise class. Activities Hanna feels are important but are too risky given the way the virus spreads.
“The seniors here are anywhere from 60 to 100 and they’re already stuck in one place for so long,” said Hanna. “It’s hard to deny them that entertainment or excitement or connection. So I think it has its place but definitely not right now.”
Provincial guidelines only say people in personal care homes who are isolating should not participate in group activities.
In an email to CTV News the care home’s CEO Marcy-Lynn Larner said there is no evidence any recreation activities have contributed to the outbreak.
Larner said contact tracing indicates the initial transmission is staff-related.
“Every attempt has always been made to ensure the well-being of our residents is always our priority while balancing meaningful stimulation and activity to our residents’ lives,” Larner said.
Like other long term care centres, the not-for-profit care home has been dealing with staffing shortages due to infections among workers.
Four City of Winnipeg paramedics and a district chief of operations responded to Golden Links last Thursday night as part of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s rapid response team. Full assessments were conducted on seven residents — one was taken to hospital.
The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service returned Friday, completed more assessments, and vowed to continue providing support when needed.
Emergency crews cleared the scene Friday night and have not been required to return, a WFPS spokesperson said Tuesday.
Hanna said it’s clear more help is needed and wants the military called in.
“So they can one, care for people — make sure that they’re attended to and also do what they did in Ontario and Quebec and start reviewing the best practices, how they’re handling things and provide a report,” said Hanna.
Last week Golden Links put out a call to families to help out with their loved ones at the care home.
Larner said a few families have been attending, while others enlisted support through an agency that provides companionship.
According to Larner, four residents are on what the care home describes as social leaves with their families.
Larner said staff have been working around the clock to care for residents who remain at Golden Links and promised to keep families updated.
Coronavirus in BC: More than 940 COVID-19 cases confirmed in one day – CTV News Vancouver
B.C. health officials announced another 941 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, shattering the province’s previous record for daily infections.
The latest update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix also set new records for hospitalizations and active cases in B.C.
In a written statement, Henry and Dix urged people across the province to curb social interactions as much as possible, as required under B.C.’s temporary public health order.
“We need to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our province and that needs to happen now,” the health officials said. “Let’s remember that every case of COVID-19 is a person who requires support and care, who may become severely ill and need to be in hospital, and whose family will experience the stress, emotional burden and for some, the tragedy, that has come with this virus.”
There have now been 28,348 cases of the novel coronavirus identified in B.C. since the start of the pandemic, and 19,605 people have recovered.
The latest infections pushed the province’s active caseload to a record 7,732, while hospitalizations reached a new high of 284. That includes 61 patients struggling in intensive care or critical care.
The previous record for daily cases was 767, set on Nov. 18. Prior to November, the province had never topped 400 cases in 24 hours.
Another 10,283 people are under active public health monitoring after being exposed to a known case of COVID-19.
Henry and Dix also announced two more coronavirus outbreaks in health-care facilities, at Valley Haven Care Home and Little Mountain Place. The outbreak at Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge has been declared over.
New outbreaks in the health-care system have been declared on a daily basis in B.C., as the province’s rapidly surging caseload continues spilling over into environments where elderly people face some of the greatest risks of severe complications and death from the disease.
As of Monday, there were 60 active outbreaks in long-term care homes, assisted living facilities and acute care units across the province – and 970 of B.C.’s active cases involved care home staff and residents.
“B.C.’s health-care workers are in our labs and hospitals, at our testing sites and in our communities. These people are our health-care system. They are there to support all of us without question and without pause, and we need to show that same support to them by all of us doing our part,” Henry and Dix said.
“That is also why everyone, young and old, needs to pause their social interactions and increase their layers of protection and stay within their local communities as much as possible.”
Under B.C.’s temporary restrictions, which will remain in place until at least Dec. 7, residents are asked to limit in-person social interactions to what’s known as their “core bubble.” For anyone in a shared living situation, such as families and roommates, that means only seeing people from your own household.
Those who live alone are allowed to choose a “core bubble” consisting of a maximum of two people, such as partners, close friends or family members.
Events of any size are to be cancelled or delayed, though officials said people can still hold small weddings, funerals or time-sensitive ceremonies such as baptisms, though there are strict rules including that no more than 10 people attend.
More information on B.C.’s public health order is available online.
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