Henry and Dix pleaded with British Columbians to ‘put the brakes on the virus’ and help slow the second wave of the disease by staying local and following public health advice to prevent transmission.
“This second surge is straining our health care system, our workplaces and all of us. We need to alleviate this pressure so that we can continue to manage the virus in our province and continue to do the many activities that are important to us, ”they said.
“While your personal efforts may seem small or have little impact, the collective benefit for each community in each region is important. Our layers of security are there to help protect us and they work best when we all use them, all the time. ”
Public health is now actively monitoring 9,871 people across the province who are isolated due to exposure to COVID-19. To date, there have been 24,422 confirmed cases of the disease in British Columbia
Wednesday’s update also includes three new outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living at Agecare Harmony Court Estates in Burnaby, Menno Home in Abbotsford and Peace Villa in Fort St. John.
The majority of new cases announced Wednesday continue to occur in the Lower Mainland, with 481 or 63% in the Fraser Health area and 210 or 28% in the area covered by Vancouver Coastal Health.
People who live in these areas are currently subject to strict restrictions, including a ban on socializing with anyone outside of their homes. Henry also advised against all non-essential travel.
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said on Wednesday morning the idea of imposing masks on Fraser Health’s largest town was on his mind, although for the moment he still prefers to focus on personal responsibility.
“I’m very, very close to saying we should have mandatory masks,” McCallum told CBC.
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister John Horgan said he was calling on the federal government to implement a “pan-Canadian approach” to non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said travel restrictions introduced a week and a half ago in British Columbia, which advise against non-essential travel in and out of the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health areas, will be extended for “the next two weeks at least. . . ”
Later that day, the premier said he had connected with religious leaders from across the province and encouraged them to limit in-person festivities for upcoming celebrations including Gurpurab, Hanukkah and Christmas.
“Steps taken by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains in British Columbia to avoid face-to-face gatherings of divas Diwali and Bandi Chhor have helped save lives and protect the most vulnerable,” Horgan said in A press release.
“There will be a time when we can all come together again like we did before. Until then, thank you all for doing their part. Together we show we are stronger when we come together for a common purpose. “