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Top doctor says B.C. in ‘second wave’ of COVID-19, with 499 new cases over three days

B.C.’s top doctor says the province is in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as she reported 499 new cases of COVID-19 over three days and two new deaths.

“One can say that we are in our second wave here of our COVID-19 storm in B.C., but we have control over what that wave looks like,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters Monday.

Henry said she is encouraged that B.C. has not seen the same exponential growth in cases as other provinces.

“What we are seeing is continued, ongoing growth … particularly where we have our largest population in the Lower Mainland,” she said.

Henry reminded British Columbians that they can help control the trajectory of the outbreak by keeping social interactions low so schools and scheduled surgeries can continue.

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There were 172 cases from Friday to Saturday, 153 from Saturday to Sunday, and 174 from Sunday to Monday, Henry said.

The number of active cases rose to 1,639.

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Sixty-seven people were in hospital with COVID-19, an increase of five from the last report on Friday. The number of those patients in intensive care dropped by seven to 19.

More than 4,000 people were in isolation due to possible exposure to the virus.

There have been 11,688 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the province so far. Of those, 9,753 — or about 83 per cent — have recovered.

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Read more: COVID-19 outbreak declared, 13 infected at Surrey meat processing plant

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Health officials also declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey meat processing plant on Sunday.

Fraser Health said 13 workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at J&L Beef Ltd. at the 17000-block of 65A Ave. It says there is evidence the virus was transmitted at the workplace. The first case was detected on Oct. 8, Fraser Health said.

— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press