Social restrictions in B.C. extended one month; 2,020 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Social restrictions in B.C. extended one month; 2,020 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 from Victoria on Dec. 2, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
December 07, 2020 - 4:14 PM

Social restrictions aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. will stay in place until Jan. 8, 2021, health officials announced today, noting the onslaught of new cases has shown marginal signs of decline. 

From Friday to Saturday there were 647 additional COVID-19 cases, from Saturday to Sunday there were 726 and from Sunday to today, Dec. 7, there were an additional 647 cases.

That brings the three-day total to 2,020 while the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is now 38,152. Additionally, 35 people died in the last three days, two of these deaths were within the Interior Health region.

The order prohibiting all social gatherings and events will mean no out-of-household guests for Christmas dinner and Dr. Bonnie Henry said it's simply what needs to be done.

"This Christmas and these holidays are going to be different and they need to be different," she said.

All those events that have been talked about for the past few weeks, continue to be prohibited with the exceptions, as they are listed in the order, she said.

"However, one addition, I am now excepting from the order, drive thru and drive into, drop off and leave events."

So things like light-up drive thrus and toy drive drop-offs are allowed, to a maximum of 50 cars.

Dr. Henry said there has been good news with COVID-19 this week, particularly with the vaccine supply and distribution program falling into place, but the numbers continue to rise.

Pointing to a chart showing the ascent of case numbers, Dr. Henry said the rate of increase has been steep across the province, but most pronounced in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions.

Very recently, particularly in the last few days, there has been levelling off in those areas, although case number continues to rise in other areas of B.C., particularly within Interior Health and Northern Health.

"This shows that what we are doing, the measures we have put in place, are starting to have an effect and starting to work," Dr. Henry said. "This means that what you are doing every day is making a difference. But we are not yet through this storm and we cannot let up now. All around us in every community the virus continues to circulate."

The risk of worse outcomes is still high.

"We only need to look as well to our adjoining provinces and states to recognize that we are in a very challenging time across Canada and across the world, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, we are seeing that this virus can transmit very easily and that our risk is very high, despite the measures that we have all taken to try and reduce risk," she said. 

Of the new cases, 304 people are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,362 people in the Fraser Health region, 45 people are in Vancouver Island health region, 203 people in the Interior Health region, and 106 people in the Northern Health region.

There are now 9,380 active cases in the province in all health authorities. There are 349 people are in the hospital, 77 of whom are in critical care or ICU.

There are also 10,747 people under active public health monitoring, again, in all areas of the province.

Within Interior Health,  636 cases are active and on isolation, 14 people are in hospital; four in ICU and the total number of deaths is now at six.

At the long-term care sites where there have been COVID-19 cases, five are at Mountainview Village in Kelowna, eight at McKinney Place in Olive and two cases were at Village by the Station in Penticton.

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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News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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