10 deaths and 624 new cases as B.C. breaks COVID-19 records again

An illuminated sign in Vancouver asks residents to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simon Little / Global News

Editor’s note: B.C. health officials incorrectly reported the number of new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, Nov. 18 due to a technical error. The numbers below have since been corrected. For more COVID-19 data, go to the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

British Columbia’s COVID-19 surge showed no sign of slowing down Wednesday, as the province broke another record with 624 new cases of the virus in a 24-hour period.

In a written statement, health officials said there were 10 new deaths, bringing the province’s total to 320. It was the second day in a row that B.C. reported double-digit deaths from the virus.

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“We have seen a rising number of new cases of COVID-19 across the province and we need to slow this down. We need to put the brakes on the virus and doing this requires a sustained effort by all of us,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix wrote.

“This second surge is putting a strain on our health-care system, our workplaces and us all. We need to ease this pressure so we can continue to manage the virus in our province and also continue to do the many activities that are important to us.”

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The majority of the cases were in the Fraser Health region (343) and Vancouver Coastal Health region (210).

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Coronavirus: Will B.C. officials follow other provinces and announce additional restrictions?

Another 38 were in the Interior Health region, 20 on Vancouver Island and 13 in the Northern Health region.

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There were also a record number of people in hospital, up 11 overnight to 209. Fifty-eight of those patients were in critical or intensive care.

A new outbreak involving one patient at Surrey Memorial hospital was also declared.

Fraser Health said the unit, which was not identified, was closed but that the emergency department remained open and other hospital operations were unaffected.

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There were 6,871 active cases, while an additional 9,871 people were isolating due to possible exposure.

Sixty-nine per cent of B.C.’s 24,423 cases have recovered.

There were health-care outbreaks in several new long-term care: Agecare Harmony Court Estates, the Cottage-Worthington pavilion, Menno Home and Peace Villa, while an outbreak at Normanna was declared over.

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