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Horgan to address British Columbians as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Last Updated Nov 18, 2020 at 6:00 am PST

FILE - NDP Leader John Horgan makes an announcement regarding health services for British Columbians during a press conference in Victoria, B.C., on Monday September 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C.'s premier is set to speak on Wednesday after the province broke records for daily cases of COVID-19

John Horgan is to speak after B.C. reported 717 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with 11 virus-related deaths

Horgan discussed the possibility of tightening travel restrictions in B.C. with CBC Vancouver Island on Tuesday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C. Premier John Horgan is set to speak this morning after B.C. reported a record breaking number of COVID-19 cases and virus-related deaths.

Tuesday’s figures — 717 daily cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths — are just another example of the continuous rise in infections the province continues to see, several months into the pandemic.

While the Lower Mainland still accounts for the highest number of cases, communities across the province — and country — are seeing numbers creep up.

As the numbers get worse across Canada, a poll from Campaign Research in the Toronto Sun suggests the majority of Canadians, in every province, want more restrictions.

More than half of respondents (54 per cent) believe that the government “has done a good job, but we need further restrictions.” About 20 per cent feel the government has not been tough enough and “more restrictions and more enforcement must be put into place.”

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When it comes to how hard Canadians want to see the coronavirus tackled, the poll finds 53 per cent of survey takers say “deal with the virus at all costs,” versus one-third who say we need to get people back to work.

In addition to the record number of new cases and deaths, B.C. also hit another grim milestone, with more people than ever now in hospital because of COVID-19. There are currently 198 people hospitalized with the virus. Of those, 63 are in intensive care.

Nearly 70 per cent of new COVID-19 cases in the 24-hour period are in the Fraser Health region.

Horgan is due to address the province at 10:30 a.m. in Victoria. On Tuesday, the premier spoke with the CBC about the possibility of tightening travel restrictions in B.C., including putting Vancouver Island in its own “bubble.”

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Vancouver Island’s top doctor said he wasn’t looking to cut off travel from the mainland but asked everyone to stay put unless they were travelling for essential reasons.

Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer for Island Health, said Vancouver Island is at risk of going in the same direction as Metro Vancouver, now that 566 people are in isolation, 10 times higher than it was a few weeks ago.

-With files from Kathryn Tindale, Lasia Kretzel, and Liza Yuzda