B.C.’s COVID-19 response and latest updates for Oct. 21
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Stephen Brown, deputy minister of health, today (Oct. 21) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia.
Today, we are reporting 203 new cases, including three epi-linked cases, for a total of 12,057 cases in British Columbia.
There are 1,766 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 4,294 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 9,993 people who tested positive have recovered.
Currently, 70 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 21 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4,215 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 6,517 in the Fraser Health region, 244 in the Island Health region, 632 in the Interior Health region, 361 in the Northern Health region and 88 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There have been two new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 256 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been three new health-care facility outbreaks at Three Links Care Centre, Fort Langley Seniors Community and Baillie House. The outbreaks at Harrison West at Elim Village and White Rock Seniors Village have been declared over. In total, 18 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
There has been one new outbreak at École de l’Anse-au-sable School in Kelowna with three members of the school community confirmed positive for COVID-19. Public health teams have directed a further approximately 160 members of the school community to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. Interior Health will provide ongoing updates as the investigation continues.
There also continue to be exposure events around the province. Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities’ websites.
Many of the new cases and recent community clusters of COVID-19 are directly connected to weddings, funerals and celebrations of life – times when we traditionally gather with family and friends.
With COVID-19 still in our communities, we have seen that even small gatherings are risky right now. Inside or outside, large space or small, the fewer the faces the better.
A wedding is meant to be a time of celebration, yet weddings and other important life occasions are a significant source of community transmission; transmission that has spread to health-care facilities, workplaces and schools.
Now is the time to keep these celebrations small and to plan for bigger family gatherings at a time when we are no longer putting our seniors, elders and others at risk.
Lead image: Signage noting Fernie being open for business along with COVID-19 information at the entry to a downtown Fernie business. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW photo