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1,293 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. breaks single-day record

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Province of B.C.
April 08, 2021 - 3:10 PM

A new single-day high of 1,293 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. has provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issuing a new public health order that can close businesses with more than three infected workers.

Almost 1,100 of the new cases are in the Lower Mainland with 80 new cases in the Interior Health region.

The previous high was 1,072 cases on April 2 but today’s numbers may be adjusted, Dr. Henry said during a news briefing today, April 8.

Much of the spread is originating with social interactions that spread the virus to workplaces.

Given that the B.1.1.7. (U.K.) variant of concern is becoming the dominant strain the B.C., and given the fact it spreads more easily than the regular COVID strain, more care needs to be taken, she said.

“It’s not OK to have friends and families over,” Dr. Henry said. “It’s not OK right now to have a wedding, a birthday or any of these ceremonies where we come together because we are putting people at risk and all of those are the people who are closest to you.”

People taking the disease home with them are tending to infect more than one family member.

If more than three workers in a single workplace come down with COVID-19 and it’s determined that the virus is spreading in the workplace, it can now be closed for at least 10 days. In larger workplaces, it may mean only a single team is sent home.

Some essential services, like police, fire, health care, grocery stores and pharmacies that cannot be closed will get increased help in operating safely if they have an outbreak.

The new powers will be put in place as of midnight Sunday night.

Given that the variants of concern are taking over, it’s now assumed that all COVID-positive tests will involve variants.

While health authorities are closely monitoring the impact of the variants, it does not appear that there’s a significant difference in hospitalization rates with any particular strain. But, in some age groups, the number of people being hospitalized is so small that it’s hard to tell if there’s a difference, Dr. Henry said.

There are more younger people getting ill and being hospitalized compared to older people. That’s partly because more than 80 per cent of people over the age of 80 have been vaccinated.

Of the new cases, 645 were in the Fraser Health region, 448 in Vancouver Coastal, 69 on Vancouver Island and 51 in the Northern Health region.

There were two more deaths, bringing the provincial total to 1,493.

There are 9,184 active cases in B.C. with 336 people in hospital, 101 of whom are in intensive care.

People can now book vaccines online here.

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