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

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Corey Harkness, who is free on bail, is slated to make his first appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Dec. 14, 2020. A trial date has not yet been set. (COREY HARKNESS/FACEBOOK)
Accused in Cache Creek homicide will stand trial

Corey Harkness, 33, is charged with second-degree murder

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Most Read