What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Nov. 30
'Locations, activities and gatherings that were safe a few weeks ago are less safe today,' says Bonnie Henry
- On Monday, health officials announced the deaths of 46 people from over the weekend and 2,364 new cases of COVID-19.
- There are 8,855 people with active cases of the disease across B.C.
- 316 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, including 75 in intensive care.
- 441 people have died of the disease since the pandemic began.
- A total of 10,139 people are under active public health monitoring and in self-isolation because of exposure to known COVID-19 cases.
- There have been 33,238 confirmed cases in the province to date.
B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday an unprecedented 46 deaths from COVID-19 over the weekend.
A total of 2,364 new cases were added to B.C.'s total, however 277 of them were historical cases previously missed due to an error in data reporting by the Fraser Health region.
There are now 8,855 people with active COVID-19 cases in B.C., 316 of whom are in hospital, including 75 in intensive care.
The Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions continue to see the greatest spread of the disease, accounting for 73 per cent of the new cases announced Monday. However, 212 of the new cases over the weekend were located in the Interior Health region.
Monday's update includes five new outbreaks in the health-care system. Currently, there are 57 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and five in hospitals.
Health officials have told British Columbians to pause all social interactions and be vigilant applying different layers of protection, including physical distancing, washing hands and using masks.
- Stay informed by joining our CBC Vancouver Facebook group on coronavirus
Review of PHSA spending
A review into spending by the Provincial Health Services Authority has been ordered by B.C.'s Minister of Health Adrian Dix, following allegations of misspending.
On Monday, CBC News reported how whistleblowers with intimate knowledge into PHSA operations have come forward with numerous concerns.
They accuse B.C.'s central health authority of squandering $7 million on the purchase of unusable face masks from China; hundreds of thousands of dollars on unnecessary renovations to executive offices; and tens of thousands of dollars on high-end catered meals for executives and their staff.
"I appreciate these allegations being raised to me," Dix said in a statement to CBC News. "I have directed the deputy minister of health to assess PHSA's decisions and conduct ... and provide advice and recommendations to me."
Several fines were issued in Vancouver over the weekend as people continued to violate provincial COVID-19 health orders.
The Vancouver Police Department says it issued fines following health order violations at a pair of house parties, a birthday party and inside a limousine.
In all instances, there were too many people from different households gathering together.
Violation tickets ranged from $230 - $2,300.
- Some churches in B.C. are pushing back against provincial mandates to cease in-person worship, saying the new rules infringe on their rights.
- The Surrey District Parents Advisory Council is urging B.C. health officials to mandate masks in classrooms after a second school outbreak in their city.
- A resident in a Victoria assisted living facility says the return to stringent COVID-19 prevention measures is leading to increased anxiety and isolation for seniors.
- B.C.'s new economic recovery minister says getting through the pandemic will be a team effort.
- People in B.C. are beating back gloomy weather and pandemic anxiety with Christmas lights.
- New HIV infections have reached an all-time low in B.C. despite the challenges of COVID-19.
- Navigating COVID-19 during the holidays raises questions about provincial rules, balancing safety and isolation.
- Dr. Bonnie Henry says some British Columbians could begin receiving a vaccine for COVID-19 as early as January 2021.
What's happening elsewhere in Canada
There have now been more than 370,278 cases of COVID-19 in Canada.
On Monday, the federal Liberal government announced it's preparing to spend up to $100 billion to kick start the post-pandemic economy as it stares down a record-high deficit projection of more than $381 billion for this fiscal year.
In a long-awaited economic statement, tabled today, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government's immediate priority is to do "whatever it takes" to help Canadians and businesses stay safe and solvent.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Loss of taste or smell.
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 other 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.