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1,120 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.; 6 deaths

Dr. Gustafson, Nov. 2, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC government
November 02, 2020 - 3:55 PM

B.C. health officials announced 1,120 more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and six new deaths.

Offering insight into how that record-breaking weekend tally came together, deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson, said 234 new diagnoses were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 830 were in Fraser Health, nine were in Vancouver Island Health, 36 were in Interior Health and 10 in Northern Health. 

"These numbers are concerning for all of us," Dr. Gustafson said. "But we have learned a great deal about COVID-19, since the beginning of the pandemic."

She said tools for living with the virus are available to us and include monitoring the virus carefully, contact tracing and applying personal layers of protection, like washing hands and wearing masks.

British Columbians, she said, have learned what's needed to live with the virus while keeping ourselves and our friends, family and neighbours safe.

"These are the tools that we continue to use as we navigate this pandemic in the coming months," she said. "Our goal is to continue to minimize severe illness and death (and) balance it with keeping as much as possible open and active in our communities."

As the weather gets cooler, however, and as activities move inside, she said, there will be more fluctuations and surges in some communities.

"We know this from British Columbia, we know this from around the world," she said. "The recent increased cases in the Lower Mainland and particularly in Fraser Health are an example of this. And when we do experience these surges, we need to respond with increased effort and stepped up focus using all of the public health measures we have available to us."

Being inside and in close contact with others increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission and, she said, that has been a significant cause of new cases in recent weeks.

"That's why it's important to keep our group small at home and elsewhere," she said. "Despite this challenge, and despite what you might have seen in some images this weekend, the vast majority of British Columbians are spending time with others in safe ways. This past weekend I saw some great examples of families enjoying Halloween safely."

Gustafson was referring to photos of partiers on the Granville strip in downtown Vancouver.

Social media posts showed downtown streets crowded with party-goers on Halloween night, apparently flouting COVID-19 safety protocols.

RCMP said the number of people downtown grew larger than expected and additional resources were brought in from around the city and police made a number of arrests for minor offences.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said that he recognizes it's "obviously frustrating for the overwhelming majority of people who are following public health guidelines and public health orders" to see what happened downtown.

"Because it was in public and because you could visually see what was going on and some of the behavior was beyond the public health orders, (it was) simply disgraceful," Dix said.

But, he said, now we again need to turn the tide against COVID-19 in B.C. as has been done before.

The new total of cases is 15,501.

From Friday to Saturday, there were 352 new diagnoses of COVID-19, from Saturday to Sunday, there were 389, new cases, and from Sunday to Monday, 379, new cases, for a total of 1,120 new cases .

There are now 90  currently in hospital, 19 are in critical care or intensive care units. The death toll is now 269 and at the moment there are 6,448 British Columbians under active public health monitoring.

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