British Columbia

B.C. announces 223 more cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths

Following two days of record-setting single day coronavirus infections in B.C., officials announced 223 new cases on Friday.

There are 2,009 active cases of the disease, with 4,637 people in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the daily update on cases of COVID-19 in B.C. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Following two days of record-setting single day coronavirus infections in B.C., health officials announced 223 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Stephen Brown, B.C.'s deputy health minister, said there are currently 2,009 active cases of the disease in B.C. with 4,637 people in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. 

The death toll remains unchanged at 256. Seventy-five people are in hospital, with 24 in intensive care. 

There have been 12,554 cases of COVID-19 in the province. The statement said that 10,247 people who tested positive have recovered.

There have been two new health-care facility outbreaks at Laurel Place, in Surrey, and Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge.

In total, 16 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks according to the Ministry of Health.

Fraser Health said on Friday there was also an outbreak at Dr. Al Hogg Pavilion, a long term care facility in White Rock.

Friday's statement from the province asked people to reduce social interactions to limit the spread of the disease.

"In recent days, we have seen a number of new outbreaks of COVID-19 in the community and in long-term care facilities." 

"Contact-tracing teams throughout our province are working around the clock to stop further spread, but it requires all of us to do our part to be successful in these efforts."

New Fraser community outbreaks

The province, along with Fraser Health, declared two new outbreaks on Friday, one at a food processing plant and the other at a hot tub manufacturer.

Fraser Health says 10 employees at Pace Processing, located on 55th Avenue in Surrey, have tested positive for COVID-19, with the first cases discovered on Oct. 8.

The facility has been ordered closed by Fraser Health.

"We are working with the operator to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies," the health authority said.

Meantime, 12 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Coast Spas Manufacturing on 202 Street in Langley.

Fraser Health is screening employees at the facility, while those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate.

The health authority says it became aware of cases at the site on Oct. 13.

Fraser Health region clusters

About 75 per cent of the province's active cases are clustered in the Fraser Health region, which makes up about 39 per cent of B.C.'s population.

The region recorded an average positivity test rate over seven days of between four and five per cent, compared to a rate of less than two per cent everywhere else. 

Dr. Victoria Lee, the CEO of Fraser Health, said this week that people should stick to the same six people beyond those in their household to keep cases low at a time when "pandemic fatigue" is setting in.

She said some gatherings are being reported to municipalities and that may require the authority to have "further conversations" around bylaw officers enforcing measures aimed at reducing the spread of the pandemic.

On Thursday, when 274 new cases were announced, Henry said she may introduce new measures to curb COVID-19 transmission at gatherings like weddings and funerals.

She said they could include conditions on wedding licences and reducing the province's current 50-person limit on gatherings. 

Henry said she's concerned about new cases linked to social gatherings, as transmission has spilled to other parts of the community, including workplaces, schools and health-care facilities.

Kelowna school outbreak

About 160 students and staff are self-isolating at home after B.C. health officials declared an outbreak Wednesday, the first in the province, at Kelowna's École de l'Anse-au-sable.

Eleven cases have been confirmed at the school as of Friday. Both students and staff have tested positive. 

Interior Health has shut down all classes between pre-kindergarten and Grade 3 at the school, and ordered students and some staff to self-isolate for 14 days. 

About the Author

Chad Pawson is a CBC News reporter in Vancouver. You can contact him at chad.pawson@cbc.ca.

With files from Justin McElroy, Alex Migdal and Bethany Lindsay

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