British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Dec. 4

As British Columbians head into a weekend that would normally see the kickoff to holiday parties, health authorities are urging everyone to "stay small and stay local."

Burnaby party hosts ticketed, snowboarder caught on Sea-to-Sky fined for breaking quarantine

A woman wearing a face mask carries shopping bags past a cafe in downtown Vancouver. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • Health officials announced 711 new cases Friday, as well as 11 more deaths.
  • There are now 9,050 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C.
  • 338 patients are in hospital, with 76 in intensive care.
  • 492 people in B.C. have died of the disease since the pandemic began.
  • There are two new health-care facility outbreaks.

As British Columbians head into a weekend that would typically see the beginning of holiday parties, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is urging everyone to "stay small and stay local" to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"We can still be festive, we can still have fun, but let's ensure it is only with our immediate household," Henry said.

On Friday, she announced 711 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 more deaths. There are 338 patients in hospital with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, 76 of whom are in intensive care.

Two new health-care facility outbreaks were announced, one at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in White Rock, the other at Richmond Hospital. The outbreak at Youville Residence is over.

Snowboarder fined

On Friday, a snowboarder who broke Canada's quarantine rules early to try to go to Whistler, B.C., was fined $1,150 under the Quarantine Act , according to police.

West Vancouver police said the man was caught driving north on the Sea-to-Sky Highway Monday.  An officer on patrol noticed his Audi had California plates with expired tags. 

The officer called public health officials and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and confirmed the man still had two days left on his 14-day quarantine.

Party hosts ticketed

Meanwhile, five different Burnaby, B.C., party hosts were slapped with tickets for violating the COVID-19 Related Measures Act during the month of November, according to police, including one with 58 people in their apartment and another who was ticketed for a second time.

And new data released Friday shows families with children and adults aged 18-29 reported being hardest hit by the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While seniors aged 70 and older experienced the most severe health effects, younger adults and parents of young children reported the pandemic taking a higher economic, mental and emotional toll, according to the provincewide COVID-19 Survey on Population, Experience, Action and Knowledge conducted in the spring and funded by the BCCDC Foundation for Public Health.

Adults aged 18-29 were nearly twice as likely to be out of work due to the pandemic, with 27 per cent of respondents of this age group affected, compared to16 per cent for the province overall.

READ MORE:

  • Police pulled over a snowboarder enroute to Whistler and fined him $1,150 for breaking quarantine orders.
  • Burnaby police busted five parties in November, including one with 58 people in one apartment.
  • B.C. Transit, TransLink, and BC Ferries are getting more than $1B in pandemic relief funds in an agreement reached Friday between the province and the federal government.
  • A "precautionary outbreak" of COVID-19 has been declared after multiple staff and patients at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George tested positive for the virus.
  • Airbnb says it has a plan to curb New Year's Eve parties this year while Canada works to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Aunt Leah's Place is struggling to find enough volunteers to staff its Christmas tree lots in Metro Vancouver as many people choose to stay home during the pandemic.

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 3 p.m. on Friday, Canada's COVID-19 case count stood at 401,859, with 70,008 of those cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 12,485.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, also warned Friday that daily new cases could top 10,000 by January. Alberta announced Friday its positivity rate for COVID-19 is now 10.5 per cent, which the province's chief medical health officer called a "grim milestone."

Meanwhile, federal officials are making plans for how to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

Eventually, there will be 205 "points of issue" locations across the country where health-care professionals can administer it.

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.

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