B.C.’s COVID-19 response and latest updates for Nov. 16
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, today (Nov. 16) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia.
Today, we are reporting on three 24-hour periods. From Nov. 13 to 14, we had 654 new cases. From Nov. 14 to 15, we had 659 new cases and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 646 new cases.
This represents a total of 1,959 new cases of COVID-19, including three epi-linked cases, for a total of 22,944 cases in British Columbia.
There are 6,279 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 181 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 57 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Currently, 10,928 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 16,087 people who tested positive have recovered.
Since we last reported, we have had 455 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,361 in the Fraser Health region, 41 in the Island Health region, 87 in the Interior Health region, 14 in the Northern Health region and one new case of someone who resides outside of Canada.
There have been nine new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 299 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have 11 new health-care facility outbreaks at Al Hogg Pavilion, Jackman Manor, George Derby Centre, Kiwanis Care Centre, Columbus Residence, Holy Family Hospital, Arbutus Care Centre, PICS Assisted Living, Village by the Station, Hamlets at Westsyde and Burnaby Hospital. The outbreaks at Haro Park Centre, Pinegrove Place, the Village at Mill Creek and Rosemary Heights Seniors Village are now over. In total, 41 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and seven acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
There have been two new community outbreaks at the Platinum Athletic Club and at Cambridge Elementary School.
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the individual efforts of people in B.C. have helped to keep our hospitals, schools and workplaces open, and to protect the ones we love.
It is the small yet essential efforts, like staying home when ill, not having social gatherings, minimizing our travel, maintaining a safe distance from others and using masks, that have a big impact.
Today, we have seen that much of the transmission is occurring in private homes at social gatherings, at workplaces where people are gathering, or in risky indoor settings, like group fitness activities. These are all locations where there are limited layers of protection and people are not wearing masks.
Masks are especially important in businesses and public spaces, on transit and ferries, when we are around people we don’t know and are unable to keep a safe distance. This also includes indoor public places like shopping malls, stores and community centres.
It is important to remember that businesses are required to ensure the health and safety of their employees and right now, that means a requirement to have COVID-19 safety plans in place to operate.
In addition to such things as barriers, having fewer people in spaces and health screening, masks are the cornerstone of many COVID-19 safety plans and should be included for all businesses or organizations that have public areas or require employees to gather. For customers who cannot wear a mask, businesses can provide virtual or curbside service instead.
Equally important, employees and customers are required to abide by these safety plans. You wouldn’t ask a business owner to operate outside of their posted business hours, nor should you expect them to bend their COVID-19 rules for you.
This is a critical time for all of us. Getting through this surge in new cases and through this pandemic requires all of us to do our part and support each other to do the same. It is how we reduce our risks and protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.
Lead image: A store in Kimberley’s Platzl encourages shoppers to wear a mask upon entry. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW photo