British Columbia

Hospitalizations continue to increase as B.C. announces 90 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 more deaths

The number of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 continued to increase Friday, as the province announced 90 new cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus and two more deaths.

There are currently 824 active cases of infection in the province

New cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in B.C., as hospitalizations begin to increase again. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The number of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 continued to increase Friday, as the province announced 90 new cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus and two more deaths.

Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Réka Gustafson and Health Minister Adrian Dix provided the update in a written statement.

They reported there are currently 13 people in hospital, up from 10 the day before, and five in intensive care, an increase of one since Thursday.

Just four days ago, on Aug. 17, B.C. marked the lowest hospitalization count since the provincial state of emergency was declared with four people in hospital, including three in intensive care.

On Thursday, B.C. marked a grim milestone in the fight against COVID-19, as the death toll reached 200. With Friday's deaths, that total is now at 202.

There are currently 824 active infections of the disease in B.C. In total, 4,915 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

Public health is monitoring 2,594 people due to identified exposures to known cases. A total of 3,889 people who tested positive have recovered.

Gustafson and Dix said no new outbreaks have been detected in health-care settings or in the community. Eight long-term care or assisted-living facilities have active outbreaks and one acute-care facility has an outbreak.

"Community exposure events continue," the statement read, adding the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has more info on alerts and public exposures online.

New police powers 'help to shore up a gap'

Health officials have repeatedly warned British Columbians of the danger of social events — particularly private, indoor parties — as a means of spreading the coronavirus.

Earlier Friday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced that law enforcement officers will now have the authority to issue fines of up to $2,000 to people who host large events that violate public health orders.

Gustafson and Dix, in their statement, said the new police powers "help to shore up a gap that has emerged."

"However, it is important to remember that the people who choose to disregard public health orders are the exception," the statement added. 

"Rather, we are heartened that the vast majority of people in B.C. are doing their part to protect themselves and each other."

With files from Ashley Moliere

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