Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C.’s COVID-19 wave continues with 617 new cases

Lower Mainland restrictions aimed at bending curve down

B.C. set another record with 617 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the number of active coronavirus-infected people to 5,579.

Hospitalizations also continued to climb, with 167 people in hospital, 50 in intensive care. There were two additional coronavirus-related deaths, for a total of 290 since the pandemic began early in 2020.

New restrictions on private gatherings and some businesses imposed on the Lower Mainland are not expected to show up in test results until next week. As has been the trend in November, 424 of the new cases are in Fraser Health and 130 in the Vancouver Coastal health region. Vancouver Island saw 16 new cases, Interior Health 42 and Northern Health five.

New health facility outbreaks were declared at Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna, Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond and Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver.

“As yesterday’s modelling update clearly showed, this is a critical time for everyone in our province,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Nov. 13. “When faced with a resurgence of COVID-19, it can be difficult to muster the strength to keep moving forward, yet British Columbians continue to show unwavering resilience and fortitude to support friends and neighbours in our communities and take care of those who are most at risk, by following the orders and using our layers of protection.”

B.C. and Alberta have declined to use the federal government’s smartphone app, saying it is too broad in its notifications and puts an additional load on testing capacity. That capacity is now stretched thin in B.C., with the average daily number of tests up seven per cent from last week and the test-positive rate up from less than two per cent to five or more. The higher “positivity” rate shows testing is being well targeted, but also that spread is accelerating.

“What we’re focusing on is making sure that those people who need a test get a test,” Henry said in her Dec. 12 discussion of latest modelling results. “Our results are showing that that is working here in B.C. Having said that, as we go further into respiratory season and we start to see more influenza, we’re going to have to manage within our testing capacity. That means slight changes to who gets a test, or who needs a test for COVID-19.”

RELATED: Tofino, Ucluelet say stay away, Lower Mainlanders

RELATED: Schools, hospitals top B.C.’s virus protection list


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The school is very proud of these students (pictured, left to right): Halim Demir (holding Grace Valdez’ gold certificate); Lauren McIlwain, Shayleen Mack, Jaymen Schieck, Kyle Doiron, and Finn Carlson (photo submitted)
SAMS students excel in international competition

The SAMS team swept their category this year; all six participants received awards

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read