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B.C. sets daily record with 109 COVID-19 cases

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Aug 24, 2020 at 6:38 pm PDT

FILE -- Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Courtesy B.C. Government)
Summary

B.C. set a record on the weekend with 109 COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period, while reporting 269 overall

Another person died of COVID-19 in the Fraser Health Authority, for a total of 203 across B.C.

A new outbreak has been declared at the MSA Manor in Abbotsford

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. set a record on the weekend with 109 COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period, while reporting 269 overall.

The record happened from Friday to Saturday, while the province reported 81 more cases from Saturday to Sunday, and another 79 for the period ending Monday.

“As we live with COVID-19 in our communities, our goals continue to be clear, we need to minimize our new cases, for our own personal safety measure,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday, her first day back at work after a vacation.

“Despite the recent outbreaks and clusters that we have seen in the past week, and the rising case numbers, we still have low undetected transmission in our province,” she added.

Health officials are still able to find and connect most people who have the virus.

“We need to keep it that way as our summer continues and we look to the fall. It’s about finding that balance being able to live with this virus and ensure that we are doing what we can to keep our society, our medical system and our economy going,” she said.

“But it also means we all need to do our part to protect those people we know are more vulnerable to having severe illness or dying from COVID-19. And in particular, that’s our seniors, our elders and people in our families and communities who have compromised immune systems. We need to all continue to do the right thing from the get-go so that we don’t need to use the enforcement measures that we have for our use now.”

Enforcement ‘unfortunate, but necessary’

On Friday, Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth announced fines of $2,000 for hosts and organizers of events who break public safety orders. Fines of $2,300 were issued to both individuals and businesses over the weekend in Surrey, Victoria  and Richmond.

“I think this is an unfortunate, but necessary step to make sure that those small number of people who are breaking the rules, despite being warned despite putting people at risk, particularly in our own communities, our own families,” Henry said.

“But we have some tools that we can use to support enforcement, as well, so I think that is the right thing to do. And I think it’s been used in the right way, very judiciously. We want to do it in a progressive way for those who really are breaking the rules intentionally.”

 

Henry said shutting down all businesses and activities is not desired.

“What we need to do is figure out how to do all that we want to do in our society safely for the next year, maybe longer,” she added.

Henry said health officials have had requests to alter the number of people allowed at events, from the current limit of 50. But she said it will remain that, to help with contact tracing.

“In British Columbia, we don’t have a lot of rules, but this is one of the main ones, and I wouldn’t expect any relaxation of it,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

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On Monday, B.C. announced new guidelines for organized sports, with recommendations for how to resume competition while adhering to public health measures, including cohort groups.

“The next phase of opening up to some sports is not about expanding large numbers, it’s about being able to have local teams play each other, so it’s still a very controlled phase,” said Henry, adding not to expect tournaments or travel for teams.

The province is also looking at modifications to rules regarding visits at care homes.

Over the weekend, a new outbreak was been declared at the MSA Manor in Abbotsford. Outbreaks remain active at 10 health facilities in B.C., including nine in long-term care.

The outbreak at the Fraser Valley Packers Blueberry plant in Abbotsford, however, has been declared over.

Active cases have climbed to 913 in the province, with 18 people in hospital, including five in intensive care.

The recovery rate has dipped slightly to 78.5 per cent, while nearly 2,600 people are in self-isolation after coming into contact with someone who tested positive.

Cases in B.C. now total 5,184.

Another person has died of COVID-19 in the Fraser Health Authority, for a total of 203 across B.C.

Besides the daily case record, Dix said B.C. conducted about 20,000 tests over the past five days.

“Which is the most significant five-day period of testing since the beginning of the pandemic,” he added.

Cases by health region since the start of the pandemic: 1,651 Vancouver Coastal; 2,739 in Fraser; 166 in Vancouver Island; 425 in Interior; 127 in Northern; and 76 non-Canadian residents.