FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

Interior Health reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total case-count in the region since the pandemic began to 611. British Columbia as a whole recorded 499 new cases and two more deaths as of Monday, Oct. 19.

The province saw two days of record-breaking cases, as the province reported 172 new cases from Friday to Saturday and then reached a new high with 174 cases from Sunday to Monday. Saturday to Sunday saw 153 new cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the two weekend deaths were in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, as she reminded British Columbians that “the virus has not gone away.”

There are currently 1639 active cases, while the total number of infections since the pandemic began is at 11,687. With the two new weekend dates, the death toll from the virus is at 253. There are 4,028 people being monitored by public health and 67 people in hospital, 19 of whom are in ICU.

The province reported four new health-care facility outbreaks, while two other had ended. In total, B.C. has 17 active outbreaks at long-term care centres and two more at acute care facilities. There have been no widespread outbreaks in schools, Henry added.

Henry, who has implored British Columbians to “be kind, be calm and be safe” added a fourth point to the oft-repeated refrain: “Be brave,” she urged, as Canada hit a grim milestone of 200,000 cases.

“What you are doing is making a difference,” Henry said.

As Ontario and Quebec continue to drive the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, Henry said that B.C.’s comparatively lower case count means that “the vast majority of people are still taking [COVID-19 measures] to heart.”

Henry said that she still believed this despite recent anti-mask rallies in Vancouver and other parts of B.C.

“Sometimes, when there’s challenges that you don’t understand, some people’s reaction is to go along with the conspiracy theories that are out there,” noting that political rhetoric from the U.S. has had an influence in Canada as well. “

“They’re taking a lot of the strategies that some of the anti-vaccine activists are using and applying it to masks,” she said.

Even with record-breaking case counts, Henry said she would not tell parents to keep their children home from trick-or-treating on Halloween the way health officials have in some parts of Ontario.

The beloved childhood activity takes place in “relatively low-risk environments,” she added. For families who are at higher risk, Henry said an in-home candy hunt and watching a scary movie could be a good way to still let kids experience the fun of Halloween in a year where many celebrations haven’t looked the way they usually do.

READ MORE: Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000


@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

The Rollin Art Centre’s Mistletoe Market begins on Dec. 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre prepares for Mistletoe Market

Artisans and crafters are still needed for annual Christmas craft fair

‘Homelessness’ means many things to people with no permanent place to sleep. For some, the challenge to find safe shelter is greater than for others. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni mother battles to find housing for her son

Mary Elles fears her son will die on the street before he will find safe housing

Andy Richards of Dog Mountain Brewing demonstrates their new canning machine. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
BIZ BEAT: Local businesses need support during holidays

Bosley’s helping pets out during holiday season

Captain Michael Ramsay of the Salvation Army is ready for the annual Christmas Kettle Campaign in the Alberni Valley. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
COVID-19 can’t stop Salvation Army’s kettle campaign

Innovation drives annual fundraising campaign for 2020

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Most Read