B.C. confirms record high 941 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths
Fraser Health region records 72% of new cases; officials announce $230 fine for not following mask order
UPDATE, Nov. 26, 2020: Officials have since corrected new case data released during the period of Nov. 16 to Nov. 24, citing "errors in data collection for Fraser Health" for initial inaccuracies. An explanation of the error can be found here, while a full list of the corrected data can be found here.
B.C. shattered its single-day record for new COVID-19 cases, confirming another 941 on Tuesday and 10 more deaths within the last 24 hours, as the province continued to urge everyone to put a pause on social interactions.
The Fraser Health region continued to drive the spike in new infections with 72 percent of the new cases occurring in that health region.
There are currently 284 people in hospital, up from 198 last Tuesday. Of that number, 61 are in intensive care.
The death toll now stands at 358, up from 310 a week ago, with 7,732 active cases of people infected with the disease in B.C.
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Public health is actively monitoring 10,283 people across the province who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure.
In total, there have now been 28,348 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, and 19,605 people have recovered.
$230 fines for not complying with mandatory mask order
The Fraser Health region had the highest numbers of new infections on Tuesday, with 678 or 72 per cent of Tuesday's new cases. There were 174 new cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, accounting for 18 per cent of new cases, 49 in the Interior Health region, 29 in the Northern Health region, and 11 in the Island Health region.
There are two new outbreaks connected to long-term care homes. One is at Little Mountain Place in Vancouver, and the other is at Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack.
A previous outbreak at Fraserview Intermediate Care lodge in Richmond has been declared over.
Meanwhile, the province has extended its state of emergency for another two weeks and announced $230 fines for anyone who does not comply with its mandatory mask order.
The mandate requires workers and members of the public to wear face coverings in all retail environments, restaurants and indoor public spaces, including common areas of workplaces, except when eating or drinking.
The order for mandatory masks does not include schools.
The province says anyone who is not wearing a mask, who does not leave a space when asked, or who responds with belligerent or abusive behaviour is subject to the fine.
Burnaby Hospital outbreak tied to 55 cases, 5 deaths
In a news release Tuesday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix continued to implore British Columbians to support health-care workers by doing what they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
"Everyone, young and old, needs to pause their social interactions and increase their layers of protection and stay within their local communities as much as possible," the statement said.
"We need to ease the pressure to allow us to get over this next hurdle, and importantly, give us the ability to once again enjoy those things that are important to all of us."
After an outbreak was declared at the Burnaby Hospital on Nov. 9, 55 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 and five people have died, Fraser Health said in a statement Tuesday,
The health authority is also investigating 40 cases involving staff to determine whether they are connected to the outbreak.
As a result of the outbreak, the hospital is not accepting new admissions with the exception of the intensive care, maternity and community palliative care units.
Other measures and restrictions
On Tuesday, health officials further tightened restrictions to try and prevent the spread of the disease.
They ordered dance studios, yoga studios, gymnastics centres and other spaces offering group indoor fitness activity to temporarily suspend those activities across B.C.
Social gatherings in B.C. are now restricted to household members only.
That means no one should be meeting for social reasons with anyone outside of their immediate household, although a physically distanced walk with a friend or arranging for grandparents to pick up the kids from school is still acceptable.
People who live alone can create a small exclusive "bubble" with one or two others, Henry has said.
All indoor and outdoor events of any size have been suspended, including popular holiday events.
B.C.'s latest public health orders will be in effect until at least Dec. 7.
On Monday, Henry compared this pandemic to an Ironman competition, with "three different, strenuous legs."
The final leg will only come when a vaccine is available, she said.
"We got through the swim — just barely. And now we're on the bike ride and we've got some big hills to climb ahead of us," she said.
"Right now, we have a distance to go."
With files from Bethany Lindsay