British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Nov. 20

As British Columbians adjust to significant new restrictions on social interactions and a new mandate for masks in indoor public spaces, officials have announced 516 more cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths.

Health officials have announced 516 new cases of the virus and 10 more deaths

A skier in a mask is pictured on the opening day of Cypress Mountain ski resort in West Vancouver last week. (Ben Nelms/CBC)


  • 516 new cases of COVID-19 were announced on Friday, along with 10 more deaths.
  • There are now 7,122 active cases out of 25,474 confirmed to date.
  • 227 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, including 57 in intensive care.
  • 331 people have now died of the disease.
  • Provincewide measures to control the spread of COVID-19 are now in place.
  • Masks are mandatory for everyone in indoor public spaces and retail environments.
  • Social gatherings with anyone outside your household are prohibited everywhere in B.C.
  • Indoor and outdoor community and social events are suspended.
  • Some high-risk group fitness activities have been suspended.
  • British Columbians are advised to avoid unnecessary travel.

As British Columbians adjust to significant new restrictions on social interactions and a new mandate for masks in indoor public spaces, officials have announced 516 more cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths.

As of Friday, there are 7,122 active cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C. A total of 227 patients are in hospital with the disease, including 57 in intensive care.

To date, there have been 25,474 confirmed cases of the virus in B.C., including 331 people who have died.

On Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry introduced a long list of new measures meant to control the spread of COVID-19 as numbers continue to spike.

Masks must be worn in indoor public and retail spaces by both staff and customers, and in shared workplace areas including elevators, corridors and behind service counters.

A previous regional order against socializing with people outside one's household has been extended across the province and is in place until Dec. 7. All indoor and outdoor community and social events are suspended, including in-person faith services, for the next two weeks.

Businesses have been told to hold off on any plans to bring workers back into offices if they've been working from home. 

High-risk indoor group fitness activities including high intensity interval training, spin classes and hot yoga have been suspended.

Meanwhile, Henry said British Columbians should not travel for non-essential reasons and anyone planning a trip to B.C. should take a rain check.


  • CBC has attempted to answer some of your most pressing questions about B.C.'s new restrictions.
  • Justin McElroy examines B.C.'s "about-face" on mandatory masks.
  • Three people have been fined for hosting a house party and card game with friends in the B.C. Interior in spite of public health orders designed to prevent those gatherings in the province.
  • Mayors of B.C. towns near the provincial border with Alberta are asking everyone on both sides of the boundary to stay where they are.
  • The Yukon government is 'divorcing' from its COVID-19 travel bubble with British Columbia, as case counts rise across the country.
  • The B.C. Care Providers Association has released new recommendations calling for the use of rapid testing protocols in long-term care and assisted living, and clear guidelines on how essential family caregivers can stay safely connected to their loved ones.
  • At least 63 residents and 40 staff in total have tested positive for COVID-19 at Tabor Village in Abbotsford.
  • With case numbers spiking in the Lower Mainland the Vancouver Hospice Society has put a bereavement walking group on hold.

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of Thursday evening, Canada had recorded 315,753 COVID-19 cases to date. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 11,265.

Modelling prepared by the Public Health Agency of Canada suggests the country could see 60,000 new infections per day by the end of December if Canadians increase their contact with other people.

To drive that number under 10,000 cases a day by the end of the year, Canadians would need to limit their interactions to essential activities while maintaining physical distancing and adhering to other public health guidelines.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or o​​​​​​ther extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

Stay informed by joining our CBC Vancouver Facebook group on coronavirus

With files from Bethany Lindsay


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