British Columbia has once again smashed the record for the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in a day, with a whopping 589 new cases on Friday.
In a written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also confirmed two new deaths, bringing B.C.’s total to 275.
Amid the spike in new cases, officials announced a last-minute COVID-19 briefing, to be held at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The majority of the cases were in the Fraser Health region (402) and Vancouver Coastal health region (146).
Twenty-four were in the Interior Health region, 12 were in the Northern Health region and five were on Vancouver Island.
The number of patients in hospital climbed by seven to 104 — the highest since April 21. Twenty-eight of those patients were in critical or intensive care.
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Active cases, at 3,741, and the number of people self-isolating due to possible exposure, at 7,887, also both set new records.
There was a new community outbreak at a construction site for the Royal Inland Hospital.
The province also reported new health-care outbreaks in six facilities: Suncreek Village, Fort Langley Seniors Community, Northcrest Care Centre, Fellburn Care Centre’s PATH unit, the Ridge Meadows Hospital and Langley Memorial Hospital.
Amid the rising cases, Henry urged businesses to review their COVID-19 safety plans.
“Keeping businesses open is important to all of us and we can all take confidence in knowing the vast majority of businesses are doing all they can to keep their employees and customers safe throughout the province,” the statement reads.
“When faced with the gathering storm clouds of increased exposures and transmission in a particular sector, we step up inspections to identify gaps and, at times, increase the safety measures that are required.
“Only if it is clearly demonstrated that a business or sector is unable to operate safely are businesses ordered to close.”
Officials also announced a new texting service for COVID-19 testing, allowing people to sign up for a text with either positive or negative results.
Seventy-six per cent of the province’s 17,149 total cases have recovered.