549 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. over Thanksgiving long weekend, 5 deaths | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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549 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. over Thanksgiving long weekend, 5 deaths

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
Image Credit: Flickr/Province of B.C.
October 13, 2020 - 4:02 PM

Another 549 British Columbians tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday, and five more people have died, the provincial health officer said today, Oct. 13.

That raises the provincial total to 10,734, and the death toll has risen to 250.

Within the Interior Health region, the number of cases has grown from 559  to 582 since last Friday, which amounts to 23 new cases — just a fraction of the new cases overall.

“The numbers are higher than what we would like to see,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said during the weekly press conference. “And on average (the number) was higher than what we were seeing in the past week, but it is important to look at them in context.”

Dr. Henry said lab teams are working to process as many tests as possible and there were a number of events that conspired at the end of last week that created a bit of a backlog.

“Those were cleared over the weekend and the team at, particularly the (B.C. Centre for Disease Control), but a number of our other partner labs processed, essentially, an extra day's worth of tests (about 6,000 tests) to clear that backlog that had emerged,” she said.

While clearing the backlog meant an increase in the overall number of confirmed cases, the active cases and the percent of tests that come back positive has remained stable, she said.

“We continue to be under two per cent... Despite the thousands of people getting tested 39,170 tests from Oct. 10 to 12. Our positivity rate remained as I mentioned at 1.39 per cent and this is where we want to be. We now want to be able to be picking up those cases in the community, and make sure that we are doing contact tracing on every single one."

Dr. Henry said health officials are working on a provincewide plan to ensure that B.C.'s testing system is operating as efficiently as it can be.

The new total includes 3,892 people in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 5,595 people in the Fraser Health region, 235 in the Vancouver Island health region, 341 people in the Northern Health region and 89 people who normally reside outside of Canada.

There are currently 1,476 active cases of whom 77 are in hospital and 24 of whom are now in critical care ICU.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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