13 more deaths from COVID-19 in B.C., 738 new cases | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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13 more deaths from COVID-19 in B.C., 738 new cases

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Province of B.C.
November 25, 2020 - 3:32 PM

B.C.'s COVID-19 caseload continued its sharp ascent Wednesday, with 738 new cases reported across the province and 13 more deaths, health officials said.

Of the new cases, 70 were within the Interior Health region, while the bulk of new diagnoses continued to be in the Lower Mainland. Hospitalizations have risen in tandem with case numbers and there are now 294 people in hospital with the disease. Of those, 61 are in critical care or ICU.

There are also 10,270 people who are under active public health monitoring, Dr. Bonnie Henry said today.

Yesterday, Dr. Henry said, the Minister of Public Safety and the Solicitor General issued a new order with enforcement measures for the use of masks in all indoor public spaces.

"This public safety order focuses on those locations where it's not always possible to maintain that safe distance, and where wearing a mask is important for your protection and the protection of the people in that environment," Dr. Henry said. "It is one of those layers that has become incredibly important as we're seeing this surge in our community here in B.C."

That said, she has no time for people who are refusing to wear a mask for reasons that don't relate to medical conditions and somehow have decided it makes them ill or is a sign of lack of freedom.

"To me, it's about respect for our fellow people who are suffering through this with us, and about making sure we're doing our piece in solidarity, to get us through this really challenging time," she said. "And I also want to make sure that we are protecting the ability of people who truly cannot wear a mask to get the services they need."

Dr. Henry said again that masks are just one of many important measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but not everyone is able to wear one.

"We need to have patience and compassion for people," she said, noting that accommodations need to be made for those who are unable for medical or psychological reasons.

Services, she said, can't be denied for those not wearing masks and there need to be alternative ways to provide the services people need. That, she said, could mean anything from curbside services or arranging for people who cannot wear masks to come at a time when appropriate distances can be maintained.

"If you see somebody without a mask, have compassion, understand that while we are all in the same storm. We don't always know each other's story," she said.

Of all the new cases, 169 were in the Vancouver Coastal health region, 443 were in the Fraser Health region, 21 in Vancouver Island health region and 35 people in the Northern Health region. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 29,086 cases.

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