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B.C.’s second surge of COVID-19 puts strain on health-care, record 762 new cases

Last Updated Nov 18, 2020 at 4:20 pm PST

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provide an update on COVID-19 on Nov. 16, 2020. (Courtesy Government of B.C./Flikr)

762 new COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday and 10 more people have died

Patients hospitalized because of the virus has exceeded 200 for the first time

Dr. Bonnie Henry said the second surge is putting a strain on B.C.'s health-care system

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on B.C.’s health-care system, says the provincial health officer as she reports another record of new infections Wednesday.

Over the 24-hour period, 762 more cases were confirmed and 10 more people died from the virus.

For two days in a row, the number of new cases and people hospitalized because of the virus reached record-highs. Of the 209 patients currently in hospital, 58 are in intensive care.

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The Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions continue to be hotspots for the virus, with 90 per cent of the new cases reported there. Seven of the people who died were from the Fraser region and the other three were from Vancouver Coastal.

Health-care system under pressure

Dr. Bonnie Henry, in a joint release with Health Minister Adrian Dix, again stressed the importance of British Columbians easing the pressure on the health-care system.

“This second surge is putting a strain on our health-care system, our workplaces and us all,” reads the release. “While your personal efforts may seem small or having little impact, the collective benefit to every community in every region is significant. Our safety layers are there to help protect us and they work best when we are all using them, all of the time.”

Henry had said contact tracers were already having a hard time keeping up with the hundreds of cases a day when she released modelling data last week. At that time, she said strategies to curb transmission of the virus could change depending on the next few weeks. She also noted the number of new cases were doubling about every 13 days.

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In an effort to change the course of the virus, Henry asks everyone to stay local and keep social circles small.

“We have seen a rising number of new cases of COVID-19 across the province and we need to slow this down. We need to put the brakes on the virus and doing this requires a sustained effort by all of us.”

Three more outbreaks in health-care facilities were reported at Agecare Harmony Court Estates, Menno Home, and at Peace Villa. The one at Normanna is over.

Fraser Health Authority also confirmed at outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Cottage-Worthington Pavilion.

The outbreak at La Casa Resort is also over and there weren’t any other ones in the community to report.

Fewer people are under public health monitoring, but active cases are up to 6,861.