B.C. Interior hockey team brings COVID-19 back from Alberta, spread it in community | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Interior hockey team brings COVID-19 back from Alberta, spread it in community

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
December 02, 2020 - 3:28 PM

B.C. health officials reported an additional 834 cases of COVID-19 today raising the provincewide total to 34,728.

There were also 12 more deaths, while hospitalizations have risen to 337, with 79 of those being ICU cases.

The continued steep climb of cases prompted the province's top doctor to issue a plea today, Dec. 2, to not travel, keep bubbles small and curtail sporting activities that are now clearly becoming higher risk.

"I recognize that this virus, COVID-19, is taking a toll on all of us and this pandemic has been relentless," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. 

"After many months of restrictions on who we can see and where we can go and what we can do we are all feeling that fatigue. I know many, many people are doing all they can to make sure that we can help each other to get through this COVID-19 response. Yet, I'm asking you all to continue and to do a little bit more to do our part to slow the spread in our communities."

This effort, she said, is important to protect those who are most at risk, particularly seniors and elders.

"We hope and expect that vaccines will be ready in the next few weeks but this virus continues to move and move quickly between us and it takes lives," she said. "Another 12 families have been affected today. And we are continuing to see unchecked transmission in many places despite our efforts of public health teams, our contact tracing."

The second surge, she said, is heightening the need to make careful choices and follow health protocols. Colder weather, it seems, creates an environment where it can spread very easily now and what was safe a few weeks ago is no longer safe.

"We need more than ever to stay local to stay small and avoid public settings right now where we mix with others — they are a risk for all of us," she said.

The reasons to do so are becoming strikingly clear.

"We know that there's many people who want to travel, who are coming here from other provinces for recreation and sport," she said.

"We know there are sports teams in B.C. that have traveled to other provinces despite the restrictions that we've put in place. And we know that, for example, there's a hockey team in the Interior that traveled to Alberta and has come back and now there are dozens of people who are infected and it has spread in the community. We need to stop right now to protect our communities and our families and our health care workers."

This was just one of a number of teams in a similar situation she said. Dr. Henry would not identify the team or the town it came from, just that it was an old timer's team.

"For many adults it’s a very important part of their socialization but right now it’s very risky," she said. "This cannot happen."

Of the new cases, 174 people are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 529 in Fraser Health, 20 in Vancouver Island health, 66 in the Interior Health region and 45 people in Northern Health.

There are now 1,941 active cases across the province, 10,201 people under active public health monitoring around the province and 24,424 people who have recovered from COVID-19.

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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