Monday, October 26, 2020

Surge in COVID numbers from weekend brings new public health order and strong guidance on masks in public

The case count from the weekend has indicated that British Columbia's second wave of COVID is showing no signs of slowing down with 817 new cases reported since Friday, making for a total of 13, 371 cases of the coronavirus recorded in the province since January.

From today's overview the weekend reports included numbers from Saturday which had 317 new cases reported, Sunday 293 and new cases with Monday's totals coming in at 217 new cases.

Dr. Bonnie Henry delivered the notes on the troubling numbers this afternoon in a public briefing streamed live.

“There are 2,325 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 5,077 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 10,734 people who tested positive have recovered. 

Currently, 77 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 26 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation. 

There have been three new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 259 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Across British Columbia, the breakdown of reported cases by Health Authority is as follows:

4,428 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 7,529 in the Fraser Health region, 250 in the Island Health region, 693 in the Interior Health region, 383 in the Northern Health region an increase of twelve since Friday.

88 cases of COVID have been recorded in people who reside outside of Canada.

As for how the Province will adjust its approach towards measures for COVID, Doctor Henry outlined the details of a new public order today, as well as an expectation now that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces.

“Getting through our COVID-19 storm requires all of us to do our part – no exceptions and no workarounds. Every time a friend, neighbour or family member tries to put aside the provincial orders and safety precautions, our risk goes up. 

We remind everyone of the order on social gatherings for no more than 50 people. The order requires that every location must have sufficient space to maintain safe physical distancing between everyone, which means the vast majority of homes cannot safely accommodate large numbers of people. 

Similar to what occurred in the summer with vacation homes and rentals, we have seen a notable increase in new cases and transmission of COVID-19 as a direct result of social gatherings in private homes. 

As a result, a new provincial health officer order will be put in place today limiting gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus six others. This is a provincewide order that applies to all homes for all occasions. 

Enforcement will be stepped up to ensure people are following this new order, with the immediate focus on the Fraser Health region, where the increase in new cases is most notable.

Towards the mask considerations, while not yet a public order, Dr. Henry gently nudged those British Columbians so far not inclined, to don a mask when in a public indoor space.

“In addition to this new order and in light of the increased risks with respiratory season, the expectation is that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces. As part of this, businesses are asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind. If you are in a high-traffic area or among many people outside of your household while at work, a mask will help to protect you and those around you. 

Now is the time for all of us to work together – while staying apart – to slow the spread of COVID-19, and always keeping our groups small and using our layers of protection is the best way for us to do that.”

You can review the COVID-19 Report for Monday here.  

The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, those past advisories  can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints 

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