Editor’s note: B.C. health officials incorrectly reported the number of new COVID-19 cases during their briefing on Monday, Nov. 23, 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.
B.C. health officials reported 2,398 new cases of COVID-19 over three days and 17 deaths on Monday, as the number of people in hospital with the illness continued to rise.
There were 835 cases recorded from Friday to Saturday, 791 cases from Saturday to Sunday, and 772 from Sunday to Monday.
The 17 deaths over three days bring the province’s death toll to 348.
Hospitalizations reached a record high of 277, an increase of 50 from Friday. Fifty-nine of those patients were in critical or intensive care.
Active cases also reached a new high of 7,360.
A total of 10,200 people were in isolation due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.
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There are 60 active outbreaks in health-care facilities, including 54 long-term care or assisted-living sites and six hospitals or acute-care facilities.
Last week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new orders aimed at slowing the spread of the second wave, including a mandatory mask mandate in indoor public spaces, the extension of Lower Mainland restrictions on social gatherings and a suspension on in-person religious services.
The order will put the brakes on all major events, including holiday events such as the VanDusen Festival of Lights, the Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train or The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.
Henry said Thursday’s order put a pause on events, both outdoors and indoors, until Dec. 7, but some lower-risk events may happen if the province’s COVID-19 situation were to improve.
She said questions are bound to arise whenever new health orders are in place, but asked British Columbians to focus on the big picture rather than looking for loopholes to get around the orders.
“I’m asking people to focus on the intent of the orders, what we are trying to do together now to address what we are seeing in our pandemic here in B.C.,” Henry said.
“I’m asking you to put the safety measures at the top of your list every day rather than thinking about where the gaps are, where the shortcuts are.”
Henry reiterated that the next two weeks are critical, and that British Columbians need to avoid meeting up with friends and extended family.
— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press