VANCOUVER – British Columbia health officials on Tuesday announced 16 more deaths from COVID-19, meaning the province has lost 99 lives in a week.
The latest deaths have brought the death toll in the province to 457, from 358 just seven days ago.
In a joint written statement, Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Administrator, and BC Minister of Health Adrian Dix offered their condolences to the loved ones of the latest victims, while acknowledging the update that food for thought on World AIDS Day.
“This is a time for all of us to take a break, to reflect on the many people in our province, our nation and the world who have been affected by COVID-19 and other global epidemics. It’s also a time to think about what a difference we can make, ”said Henry and Dix.
“Let’s be resilient in the face of this wave. United and together, let’s make an impact today through our own personal actions.
Health officials also announced 656 new cases of COVID-19, which is lower than the provincial average of 752 over seven days. British Columbia has now recorded a total of 33,894 infections since the start of the pandemic, including 5,269 in the past week.
On Monday, Henry said officials saw the number of cases “stabilize” – a potentially optimistic sign weeks after he first imposed tough new restrictions in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. These have since been expanded and applied across the province.
These temporary restrictions are currently scheduled to end on December 7. Health officials gave no indication on Tuesday whether they intended to extend the measures, but stressed that they currently remain in place “without exception.”
“Remember that events, which refer to anything that brings people together – whether on a one-off, regular or irregular basis – are not allowed at this time. This includes religious, cultural or community events. Don’t get together at home with someone other than your home or base bubble, ”they said.
The number of active cases in British Columbia edged down to 8,795, while hospitalizations reached a new record of 336 patients in treatment, including 76 in intensive care or intensive care.
There are also 10,123 people under active public health surveillance following exposure to a known case of COVID-19.
Officials also announced another outbreak, at The Harrison in Elim Village, a home for the elderly in Surrey. Two more, at Holy Family Hospital and Jackman Manor, have been declared over, leaving 60 active outbreaks in the BC health system.
Much of the concern surrounding the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the province has revolved around the coronavirus infiltrating long-term care homes, where elderly residents are at a much higher risk of serious complications and death.
During Monday’s COVID-19 briefing, Henry urged the public to keep these people in mind before looking for loopholes in B.C.’s strict limits on social interactions.
“If you think it might be okay to bend the rules, remember this virus takes lives,” she said.