British Columbia

B.C. announces 155 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 more death

B.C. health officials announced 155 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 11,189 provincewide. 

New community outbreak at a Tim Hortons in Merritt

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released the latest COVID-19 numbers for British Columbia in a news release on Friday Oct. 16, 2020. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 155 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 11,189 provincewide.

There are currently 1,513 active cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, as well as 3,713 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to known cases, according to a news release Friday from the Ministry of Health.

Of those active cases, 72 people are in hospital with 26 in intensive care. 

There has been one new death from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total provincial death toll to 251.

Health officials say 9,387 people in B.C. have recovered from the virus.

On Thursday, Henry's update included the first confirmed case of multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare condition found in children, that has been linked to COVID-19 through laboratory tests.

MIS-C has clinical similarities to Kawasaki Disease, with symptoms including fever, abdominal pain, rashes, conjunctivitis and inflammation around the mouth, hands and feet.

Henry said the case is a good reminder that while COVID-19 is generally less severe in children, no age group is immune from suffering serious illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

New outbreak in Merritt

Health officials say there has been one new community outbreak at the main Tim Hortons restaurant in Merritt leading the establishment to close voluntarily.

The Interior Health authority says the business had precautions in place to prevent transmission to the public and its investigation has determined there was no exposure to the general public.

It says all confirmed cases are isolating while contact tracing is underway and the authority will increase testing capacity in Merritt to address any possible additional demands, nor is there any evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food made by infected people.

There also continues to be exposure events around the province which are posted on the websites of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and health authorities.

There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system. The outbreak at Kin Village has been declared over. leaving 15 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and two in acute care units of hospitals. 

Voting safely

Henry reminds British Columbians that the provincial election is just over a week away and that advanced voting is available throughout the province. She says Elections BC has COVID-19 safety plans in place for all locations.

"If you are planning on voting in person, remember to give others the space to stay safe when going to vote, wash your hands before and after voting, and consider using a mask if distancing is a challenge," Henry stated in the written statement.

She says those who are self-isolating or feeling unwell can still vote without going to a voting place and should contact Elections BC at 1 800 661-8683 for more information or assistance.

Flu shots please

Henry reiterated this week the importance of getting vaccinated for the flu. She said sooner is better than later, but it's best to get a flu shot by late October or early November.

Though demand has been unusually high this year and some pharmacies are already reporting running out of the vaccine, Henry said supplies will be replenished throughout the season.

With files from the Canadian Press

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