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COVID hospitalizations increase by 22 per cent

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:14 PST, Mon November 23, 2020

There are 277 people in hospital with COVID-19 across the province today, a 50-person increase (22 per cent) since Friday’s update. Fifty-nine of those people are in critical care.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced 17 virus-related deaths over the weekend, most of whom were seniors or elders in longterm care. There have been 348 deaths in BC since the pandemic began.

Despite the sobering statistics, Henry said, “I do think there is hope.

“We have the knowledge, the tools and the resources to control this virus and not let it control us.”

Over the next two weeks, she said BC needs to “urgently” reduce the level of transmission. 

“Protecting our workplaces, hospitals and schools is the important thing we must focus on now,” she said.

Henry also announced the weekend’s case counts. From Friday to Saturday there were 713 new cases (the third-highest daily number), from Saturday to Sunday 626, and in the last 24 hours a further 594. In total, the weekend saw 1,933 new cases in BC, including 11 that are epidemiologically linked, bringing BC’s cumulative total to 27,407.

Of the new cases, 414 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 48 in the Island Health region, 104 in the Interior Health region, 61 in the Northern Health region, and two in people who normally live outside Canada. A staggering 1,304 of the new cases were in the Fraser Health region.

There are 7,360 active cases and 10,200 people under active public health monitoring. Just over 19,000 people (69.58 per cent) are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.

Henry announced six new healthcare outbreaks and declared two existing outbreaks over. There are now 60 active outbreaks in the healthcare system, with 54 of those in longterm care or assisted living facilities and six in acute care facilities.

The current orders in place are set to expire Dec. 7, but Henry said she will continue to monitor and provide updates as that date approaches.

“Now, for these next two weeks in this province, all of us need to stop these events and pause so that we can get control of this virus.”

She compared the pandemic to an Iron Man race, with three different legs. The first wave was the swim, and now BC is in the second wave, the bike ride with many big hills to climb. And the third leg, the run with a visible finish line, is not quite in sight.

“Right now we have a distance to go and we don’t know yet where the finish line is,” said Henry.

Interim Health Minister Adrian Dix added that more than a million flu vaccines have been administered so far in BC, and there is no evidence that the flu is circulating throughout the province.

“This is, I think, an extraordinary achievement,” he said.

For a list of community exposure events, click here.

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

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