A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

B.C. has recorded 738 new cases and 13 new deaths as of Wednesday (Nov. 25), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during the day’s press briefing.

Of the new cases, 169 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 443 are in Fraser Health, 70 are in Interior Health, 21 are in Island Health and 35 are in Northern Health.

Today’s new cases were not record-breaking, but neither were Tuesdays, which the health ministry reported at 941. Henry said Wednesday that numbers from Fraser Health were reported on incorrect days over the past week, meaning that Wednesday’s actually had 706 cases. The current highest daily case count is 835 on Saturday, which did not have 713 infections as the health ministry previously reported.

Henry said the errors in the data did not affect when positive cases were notified, but said the error was caused by a technological updates, likely brought on by increasing capacity in government labs.

READ MORE: All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

There have been a total of 29,086 cases since the pandemic began in B.C., of which 7,616 are active. There have been a total of 371 deaths. There are currently 294 in hospital, of whom 61 are in ICU or critical care. Hospital bed capacity in B.C. is at 72 per cent overall and at 56 per cent for critical care and ICU.

There are 57 health-care facility outbreaks, with 52 of them in long-term care and five in acute care.

Henry reminded British Columbians that masks are mandatory in all public indoor spaces.

“If you see somebody without a mask, have compassion,” she said. “People who are unable to wear a mask must be accommodated.”

However, Henry noted that some of the onus is on the people who cannot wear masks to limit other people’s exposure to them, including utilizing curbside pickup, delivery or shopping during off-peak hours.

People who are being “deliberately belligerent” will face consequences, she noted, including a $230 fines announced Wednesday.

“I have no time for people who are belligerent and are trying to make some statement about anti-vax… and believe that wearing a mask somehow makes them ill, or is a sign of lack of freedom,” she said.

Henry reminded people that the upcoming holiday season, like to be more solitary than many, is a time to make sure no one feels they are alone.

“Reach out, do those things we did back in April and May to support each others,” she said. “Find ways to connect.”

As cases increase, Henry said Ottawa has lent contact tracers to the Fraser Health region, which has been hardest hit by the pandemic. The past few weeks have seen an increasing number of cases that cannot be linked to another known case.

However, she acknowledged the situation is getting difficult.

“I wouldn’t say we’re losing but we’re on the edge for sure,” she said.

“It is still within our grasp.”

ALSO READ: Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Oliver Town Hall (Town of Oliver Facebook).
Call for local artists to design centennial logo for Oliver

The Town of Oliver will be celebrating 100 years in 2021

Vaseux Lake in winter. (Facebook)
Dogs rescued after falling through ice on Vaseux Lake

Good Samaritans saved the trapped dogs

“My grandma always just said…making people smile is the most important thing,” says Nicholas Kruger. (Chehala Leonard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Entrepreneur Nicholas Kruger nominated as Okanagan community changemaker

With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19: Two more deaths at Vernon’s Noric House

Total deaths climb to 17 at local long-term care outbreaks

A change to the drive thru sign at the Tim Hortons in Summerland came before Summerland council on Jan. 25. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council approves variance for drive-thru sign

Questions raised about why issue was brought to council table

Most Read