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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

(From left to right) Twin Meadows Animal Rescue co-directors Puneet Grewal and Nycki Wannamaker with Stick & Stone manager Meaghan Collins, and Stick & Stone owner SJ Nelson. Pictured here with Blue, Hombre, Daphne,Skye and Freedom. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
‘Rescue starts from the moment they come through the doors’: TMARS co-founder

Puneet Grewal of Elkford co-founded TMARS in 2020, and with the help of a small army of volunteers and fosters has helped dozens of animals find homes

(Pixabay)
B.C. ranks as fourth most attractive Canadian jurisdiction for resources companies

B.C. was ahead of neighbouring Alberta, which was ranked as the seventh-best Canadian jurisdiction

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read