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

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Kevin Cortes, Matt Crist, Cris Martin, Mike Moore and Steve Mancini were delighted by the amount of support they received while collecting donations during a past Stuff the Cruiser event at the Ukee Co-op. (Westerly File photo)
West Coast set to ‘Stuff the Cruiser’ on Saturday

Food Bank on the Edge has three easy and safe ways for folks to donate

Nuu-chah-nulth language champion Tim Masso holds his Rainy Coast Arts Award. (Jessie Masso photo)
Masso and Wenstob receive 2020 Rainy Coast Arts Award

Tla-o-qui-aht brothers share Pacific Rim Arts Society honour

Pamela Evans gazes lovingly at her four-year-old French bulldog Jack on Thursday, Nov. 5. The energetic young pup has regained his usual rambunctiousness after recently recovering from a significant illness brought on by consuming discarded cannabis new Brown’s Beach in Ucluelet. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Discarded cannabis a “frequent” threat to pets in Tofino-Ucluelet

“I couldn’t grab him fast enough to get it out of his mouth before he swallowed it.”

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
Four Alberni schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

Exposures occurred between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25 depending on the school

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read