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B.C. confirms 762 new cases of COVID-19, for total of 24,422

B.C. sets another staggering new daily record high of COVID-19 cases at 762
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Dr. Bonnie Henry gives provincial update. Photo: Screengrab.

There are now 24,422 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C. after health officials announced 762 new cases Wednesday.

Three of these new cases are epi-linked.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports that there have been 210 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 481 in the Fraser Health region, 20 in the Island Health region, 38 in the Interior Health region, and 13 in the Northern Health region

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 from people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been three new health-care facility outbreaks at Agecare Harmony Court Estates, Menno Home and at Peace Villa. The outbreak at Normanna has been declared over.

There have been no new community outbreaks and the outbreak at La Casa Resort has been declared over.

There have been 10 new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 320 deaths in British Columbia.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 209 individuals are hospitalized, 58 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation. As well, 9,871 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

There are 6,861 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 16,914 people who tested positive have recovered.

Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities’ websites.

“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," said Henry.

“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.

“While your personal efforts may seem small or having little impact, the collective benefit to every community in every region is significant. Our safety layers are there to help protect us and they work best when we are all using them, all of the time.

“Now is the time to stay small, stay local and do your part – at home, work, school and in your community.”

New Public Health Order 

The new provincial health orders restrict social gatherings of any size with anyone outside of your immediate household, as well as indoor group physical activities, including yoga, spin, group fitness and dance classes.

Basically, indoor locations "where people are increasing their heart rate," Henry said. "We have seen repeatedly, not just here, but around the world, that these are venues that we see rapid spread of this virus, even with people who don't recognize that they are ill."

That ban also applies to indoor competitions and games where physical distancing cannot be maintained, including sports such as minor hockey. However, Henry said, "these activities can be replaced with the individual exercise of practice and drills," as B.C. similarly permitted prior to the province's restart of its sports programs, so long as it "allows everyone to maintain safe physical distancing." 

Public health officials are also recommending "in the very strongest terms" that British Columbians avoid travel into and out of the two health regions. "We need to go back to what we were doing in March and April and May, where it was essential travel only," Henry said. 

That includes a ban on travelling into or outside of the two health regions for sports, for the time being. 

Restaurants are permitted to remain open for the time being, on the condition that each establishment adheres to COVID-19 safety plans. If that isn't possible, Henry suggested that they revert to take-out only service.

Party buses and limousines are also ordered to cease operations for the two-week period. 
 

--With files from Megan Lalonde.