567 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., new orders for Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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567 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., new orders for Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health

Dr. Bonnie Henry Nov. 7, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC government
November 07, 2020 - 1:34 PM

B.C. reported 567 cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, prompting new public health orders for the Lower Mainland alone and a recommendation to not travel in and out of the area.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 122 cases were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 411 were in Fraser Health, three were in Island Health, 22 in Interior Health and nine in Northern Health. There are now 100 people in the hospital. The peak hospitalization number in B.C. was 149 in April.

"As you know, in the last two weeks, we have seen a dangerously high and rapid increase of COVID-19 cases and outbreaks affecting primarily our healthcare system, but also many other places across the province particularly here in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions," Dr. Bonnie Henry said. "We are also watching what has happened around the world, and we are not alone in seeing this rise in cases, we have seen them in jurisdictions all around us, and around the globe."

Dr. Henry said that provincial health orders are always a last resort and they're needed in the cities that make up Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health now. The goal of B.C.'s COVID-19 response has been to maintain capacity within its healthcare system so healthcare workers can support and care for people not only who are suffering from this virus, but others as well.

By doing that, essential services and essential activities from schools to workplaces, can be kept open and operating safely.

"And right now, this is in jeopardy," Dr. Henry said before announcing new orders.

"Today, I am putting in place new provincial health officer orders for all individual places of work and businesses in communities within the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions, with the exception of the Central Coast and Bella Coola Valley," she said, adding that the orders are in effect for two weeks and expire Nov. 23.

"This will give us a chance to stop the transmission...We need to focus our attention on that."

The orders affect social gatherings, travel, group physical activities, indoor group physical activities, and workplace safety.

"Right now, it is very important that everyone in these areas of Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health significantly reduce their social interactions."

Today's orders ban social gatherings of any size with anyone other than an immediate household. This includes indoor gatherings of fewer than 50 people, even in controlled settings. Funerals and weddings may proceed with an immediate household but there are to be no associated receptions inside or outside one's home or at any public or community base.

"We are strongly recommending that travel into and out of areas of Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health should be limited to essential travel only those who live outside these areas should not visit, unless it is essential and travel through, only when needed," she said.

In addition, travel for sports into and out of the aforementioned region is suspended for this period of time.

Dr. Henry said restaurants were once the leaders of COVID-19 transmission management, but there's been evidence of that slipping. That is going to be policed more vigilantly.

"I know this is hard. I know we don't want to have to be doing this," Dr.Henry said. 

"And we need to support each other to get this rate down to make this break. We appreciate that this takes a sustained daily effort. And these efforts are critical to keeping our businesses, our schools open, and our community safe, as we go into winter."

While today's restrictions are limited to the Lower Mainland, Health Minister Adrian Dix had a warning for the rest of the province, which is also seeing a spike in cases at an albeit lower rate.

"You need to keep your guard up and double down on the actions that we know will keep us safe in our homes and in our workplaces, in our communities," Dix said. "I will repeat again, the virus does not follow geographical boundaries. It does not care about how nice we are. It lives to transmit, and we must in this time, do everything we can to avoid this."

The provincewide total is now 17,716 infections since the start of the pandemic. "The orders will be in effect for the next two weeks from today at 10 pm through to Monday, Nov. 23 at 12 pm.


Businesses, recreation centres or other organizations that organize or operate indoor group physical activities must suspend these activities. This includes:

    Spin classes
    Group fitness
    Dance classes
    Any other group indoor activity that increases the respiratory rate

Indoor sports where physical distancing cannot be maintained are suspended. This includes activities like:

    Martial arts

These activities can be replaced with individual exercise or practice that allows everyone to maintains a safe physical distance.

Indoor group physical activities can only resume when the business has updated their COVID-19 safety plan and received plan approval from their local Medical Health Officer.
Workplace safety

All businesses and worksites must conduct active daily in-person screening of all onsite workers using the COVID-19 symptom checklist that is part of every business restart safety plan.

    Workplaces must ensure that all workers and customers maintain appropriate physical distance and wear masks when appropriate
    Extra care should be taken in small office spaces, break rooms and kitchens

Party-buses and limousines

Party-buses and group limousines must stop operations immediately. Resuming operations is at the discretion of the PHO and may extend beyond November 23, 2020 at 12pm.

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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