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New COVID-19 cases surge by record 425 in B.C., number in hospital nears 100

Click to play video: 'B.C. sets new COVID-19 records'
B.C. sets new COVID-19 records
B.C. sets new COVID-19 records – Nov 5, 2020

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, British Columbia has reported more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period.

At a live briefing Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 425 new cases of the virus. The province’s death toll remained unchanged at 273.

Click to play video: 'New restrictions considered amid record 425 COVID cases in BC'
New restrictions considered amid record 425 COVID cases in BC

The majority of the new cases were in the Fraser Health region (268) and Vancouver Coastal Health region (126).

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Seven were on Vancouver Island, eight were in the Interior Health region and six were in the Northern Health region.

Click to play video: 'Dr. Bonnie Henry not planning COVID-19 restrictions in regional hotspots'
Dr. Bonnie Henry not planning COVID-19 restrictions in regional hotspots
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The number of patients in hospital also climbed to 97, the highest it’s been since April 27. Twenty-four people were in critical or intensive care.

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There were 3,389 active cases and 7,519 people isolating due to exposure, both new all-time records.

B.C. conducted 11,020 tests, with a province-wide positivity rate of 3.8 per cent.

Henry called on people to get back to the COVID-19 “basics”: washing hands, covering their mouths when they cough and maintaining physical distance.

And she again urged people to avoid indoor group activities, and to — wherever possible — visit in person only with their immediate family.

“Or at most, your safe six,” she said. “The same group on a repeated basis.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix also had strong words for people who continue to hold social gatherings.

“The COVID-19 tide is rising,” he said.

“When it comes to house parties and gatherings, the message is simple. Don’t throw them. Don’t go to them. When it comes to house parties we should all just say no to them.”

Click to play video: 'B.C.’s top doctor explains how quickly the coronavirus moves through gatherings like weddings'
B.C.’s top doctor explains how quickly the coronavirus moves through gatherings like weddings

Despite the surging case numbers in the Lower Mainland, Henry again signaled a resistance to implementing new region-specific health orders.

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She also said there were no immediate plans to begin scaling back scheduled surgeries, despite the rising number of patients in hospital.

Click to play video: 'B.C. health officials report record 425 new cases of COVID-19 and 3,389 active cases'
B.C. health officials report record 425 new cases of COVID-19 and 3,389 active cases

“We’re not in danger, but it is very much a balance,” she said, adding that B.C.’s healthcare system was “well within” its planned ability to respond to new cases.

There were two new outbreaks in long-term care, while an outbreak at the Queen’s Park Health Centre was declared over.

About 77 per cent of B.C.’s 16,560 total cases have recovered.

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