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BC records new daily highs in second wave of pandemic

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 3:47 PDT, Mon October 19, 2020

Last Updated: 4:05 PDT, Mon October 19, 2020

Once again, BC is recording high daily case counts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twice topping the previous record high of 170 cases, this weekend saw 499 new cases in total, including seven that are epidemiologically linked. There were 172 cases from Friday to Saturday, 153 from Saturday to Sunday and a further 174 since midday Sunday. 

“One can say that we are in our second wave here of our COVID-19 storm in BC, but we have control over what that wave looks like, and we have shown that we can do that,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

She said the virus is able to hide and spread in communities around the province. There is continued growth of new cases in hot spots, particularly in the Lower Mainland where the largest population is located. While virus-related hospital admissions are higher than they were a few weeks ago, they are remaining stable.

“Encouragingly, we in BC are not seeing exponential growth,” said Henry.

She said everyone needs to remain vigilant and make “small sacrifices” to avoid steep and sudden increases that may overwhelm the healthcare system. Contact tracing is still a very important part of the virus management system in BC, and allows public health teams to see where transmission occurs and hopefully stop it in its tracks.

“If you are contacted by public health, that may be because you have been exposed to this virus and there is a possibility you might get ill yourself,” she said.

In addition to her usual recommendations that people “be kind, be calm and be safe,” Henry added one more statement today: “Be brave that we can get through this together and we can support each other.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 11,687 cases in the province. There are currently 1,639 active cases and a record-high 4,028 people under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to known cases.

There are 67 people in hospital across the province, 19 of whom are in critical care. There were two new deaths over the weekend, bringing that total to 152.

There were four new healthcare outbreaks announced, and two outbreaks were declared over. Nineteen active outbreaks continue in the healthcare sector, 17 in longterm care or assisted living and two in acute care. There was one new community outbreak at a Surrey meat processing facility.

For a list of community exposure events, click here.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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