COVID-19 claims 3 more lives in B.C., as 267 new cases confirmed over the weekend
There are currently 1,302 active cases of infection
Three more people have died, as B.C. recorded another 267 cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday.
That brings the provincial death toll to 233.
The numbers cover a three-day reporting period since Friday, with 68 cases recorded between Friday and Saturday, 125 cases between Saturday and Sunday, and 74 cases between Sunday and Monday.
There have been 8,908 cases of coronavirus across the province since the pandemic began. Currently, there are 1,302 active cases of infection.
Right now, public health officials are actively monitoring 3,372 people who have had close contact with the virus.
Vancouver Coastal Health has announced a possible exposure at Abruzzo Cappuccino Bar on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. It occurred Sept. 23-26 between 1-3 p.m. Anyone who visited the shop during these times is asked to monitor for symptoms. All possible exposures are listed online and are considered low risk.
Henry says one of the deaths occurred on Vancouver Island, where a man in his 50s-60s with underlying conditions passed away at home. She says the man wasn't identified as having COVID-19 until after his death.
"Very disturbing and tragic for his family," she said.
Main transmission currently through gatherings
Henry says contact tracing has shown that there have been transmission events through gatherings where people are socializing such as weddings, funerals and parties.
"The best thing we can do is — all of us — is to take a step back from our social interactions," said Dr. Henry, as she reminded British Columbians to travel less and connect with others virtually.
We can stand together, she said, by staying apart.
She acknowledged it can be difficult to say no to friends but added that we need to encourage and support people to do the right thing.
Henry also announced new outbreaks in three health-care facilities. Holy Residence in Vancouver, Thornebridge Gardens in New Westminster and Harrison at Elm Village in Surrey have all reported outbreaks.
The provincial health officer reported one new community outbreak at the Calvary Chapel Church in Kelowna, where five cases have been confirmed. There are now 16 active outbreaks across the province.
Holidays during a pandemic
With October just around the corner, many people are wondering how their Thanksgiving and Halloween holidays are going to look.
While Thanksgiving is an important time for families and loved ones to connect, Henry says it needs to be done in a responsible and safe way.
"Now is not the time to have the family gathering," she said. "Now is the time to have your small, local, nuclear family together."
Watch | Dr. Bonnie Henry advises against family get-togthers this Thanksgiving:
Transmissions can take off, she said, when we have close gatherings with people outside our bubble.
She says this year, we can give thanks in a way that keeps everybody safe.
As for Halloween, Henry says it's not the time to have those big parties where people are gathering, whether that's inside a house or while trick-or-treating.
She says her team will release specific guidelines later this week that will include tips like staying outside, having goodies pre-packaged in single servings and not having children sing for their candy.
Henry says masks are also encouraged.
Positive test rate under 2% since Sept. 23
Positive cases in schools
With students back in class, there have been new cases reported in schools. Henry says all school exposures — where someone who has tested positive was in the school environment during their infectious period — are posted online.
She also pointed out exposure events are not the same as outbreaks and just because there may have been an exposure event in a school, doesn't mean your child has necessarily been exposed to the virus. If that happens, she says parents will be notified by public health over the phone.
A school exposure occurs when a single person confirmed to have COVID-19 attends school during their infectious period, according to Fraser Health. An outbreak is when COVID-19 is confirmed in multiple people and transmission is likely widespread within the school.
COVID-19 around Canada
In Eastern Canada, cases are hitting new highs. Ontario reported an additional 700 cases on Monday, the most in a single day since the outbreak began in late January.
Montreal and Quebec City were put under the highest COVID-19 alert level Monday, bringing new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Quebec reported 750 new cases on Monday.
Worldwide, the virus is on the verge of crossing a grim milestone, with the death toll now nearly at one million.
- A previous version of this story incorrectly said a COVID-19 school outbreak is when there is at least one identified positive case within the school. In fact, an outbreak is when COVID-19 is confirmed in multiple people and transmission is likely widespread within the school.Sep 28, 2020 9:58 PM PT