Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Stephen Brown, deputy minister of health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:
"Today (Monday), we are reporting on three 24-hour periods. From Oct. 23 to 24, we had 317 new cases. From Oct. 24 to 25, we had 293 new cases, and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 207 new cases.
"This represents a total of 817 new cases, including 11 epi-linked cases, for a total of 13,371 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 2,325 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 5,077 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 10,734 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Currently, 77 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 26 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4,428 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 7,529 in the Fraser Health region, 250 in the Island Health region, 693 in the Interior Health region, 383 in the Northern Health region and 88 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
UPDATE on IH numbers:
Thirty-one additional COVID-19 cases were reported in Interior Health overnight, bringing the total in IH since the start of the pandemic to 693
86 cases are active and on isolation
One person is in hospital.
The outbreak at FedEx at Kelowna airport is over, with three cases linked.
"There have been three new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 259 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There have been four new health-care facility outbreaks at Queen's Park Care Centre, Amenida Seniors Community, Agassiz Seniors Community and Banfield Pavilion 4 West. The outbreaks at Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence, Thornebridge Gardens and Point Grey Hospital have been declared over. In total, 19 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
"There has been one new community outbreak at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre. The outbreak at the FedEx Office at the Kelowna International Airport has been declared over. There also continue to be exposure events around the province. Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control's (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities' websites.
"Getting through our COVID-19 storm requires all of us to do our part - no exceptions and no workarounds. Every time a friend, neighbour or family member tries to put aside the provincial orders and safety precautions, our risk goes up.
"We remind everyone of the order on social gatherings for no more than 50 people. The order requires that every location must have sufficient space to maintain safe physical distancing between everyone, which means the vast majority of homes cannot safely accommodate large numbers of people.
"Similar to what occurred in the summer with vacation homes and rentals, we have seen a notable increase in new cases and transmission of COVID-19 as a direct result of social gatherings in private homes.
"As a result, a new provincial health officer order will be put in place today limiting gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus six others. This is a provincewide order that applies to all homes for all occasions.
"Enforcement will be stepped up to ensure people are following this new order, with the immediate focus on the Fraser Health region, where the increase in new cases is most notable.
"Just as religious leaders throughout the province have so strongly supported our provincial response, so we are calling on community leaders to do the same in order to help your communities do the right thing as we work to address this global pandemic.
"In addition to this new order and in light of the increased risks with respiratory season, the expectation is that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces. As part of this, businesses are asked to review their COVID-19 safety plans with this in mind. If you are in a high-traffic area or among many people outside of your household while at work, a mask will help to protect you and those around you.
"Now is the time for all of us to work together - while staying apart - to slow the spread of COVID-19, and always keeping our groups small and using our layers of protection is the best way for us to do that."
BCCDC's safer celebrations guidance: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/social-interactions/safer-celebrations
To learn more about the Oct. 5 modelling presentation, visit:
Guidance for Halloween during COVID-19: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/social-interactions/halloween