FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

Interior Health reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total case-count in the region since the pandemic began to 611. British Columbia as a whole recorded 499 new cases and two more deaths as of Monday, Oct. 19.

The province saw two days of record-breaking cases, as the province reported 172 new cases from Friday to Saturday and then reached a new high with 174 cases from Sunday to Monday. Saturday to Sunday saw 153 new cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the two weekend deaths were in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, as she reminded British Columbians that “the virus has not gone away.”

There are currently 1639 active cases, while the total number of infections since the pandemic began is at 11,687. With the two new weekend dates, the death toll from the virus is at 253. There are 4,028 people being monitored by public health and 67 people in hospital, 19 of whom are in ICU.

The province reported four new health-care facility outbreaks, while two other had ended. In total, B.C. has 17 active outbreaks at long-term care centres and two more at acute care facilities. There have been no widespread outbreaks in schools, Henry added.

Henry, who has implored British Columbians to “be kind, be calm and be safe” added a fourth point to the oft-repeated refrain: “Be brave,” she urged, as Canada hit a grim milestone of 200,000 cases.

“What you are doing is making a difference,” Henry said.

As Ontario and Quebec continue to drive the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, Henry said that B.C.’s comparatively lower case count means that “the vast majority of people are still taking [COVID-19 measures] to heart.”

Henry said that she still believed this despite recent anti-mask rallies in Vancouver and other parts of B.C.

“Sometimes, when there’s challenges that you don’t understand, some people’s reaction is to go along with the conspiracy theories that are out there,” noting that political rhetoric from the U.S. has had an influence in Canada as well. “

“They’re taking a lot of the strategies that some of the anti-vaccine activists are using and applying it to masks,” she said.

Even with record-breaking case counts, Henry said she would not tell parents to keep their children home from trick-or-treating on Halloween the way health officials have in some parts of Ontario.

The beloved childhood activity takes place in “relatively low-risk environments,” she added. For families who are at higher risk, Henry said an in-home candy hunt and watching a scary movie could be a good way to still let kids experience the fun of Halloween in a year where many celebrations haven’t looked the way they usually do.

READ MORE: Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000


@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

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Black bear tranquillized, being relocated by conservation officers

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Ladysmith resident Bonnie Cook lost the use of most of her basement and her backyard after experiencing a major water leak. (Cole Schisler photo)
Drip by drip: water line leaks lead to big repair bills for Ladysmith homeowners

Nearly all reported leaks occur on old copper lines that have been bent or manipulated

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent Scott Saywell at a May 6 press event showing off two new electric school buses. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district shows off electric buses

New buses anticipated to reduce 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from SD68 buses

An Ater-group Airon Slug identified during YES’s Bio-Blitz. (Yellow Point Ecological Society photo)
Yellow Point Ecological Society’s Bio-Blitz a big success

The Yellow Point Ecological Society held their first-ever Bio-Blitz over the weekend… Continue reading

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

This payphone sits just east of TD Bank in Parksville, on Harrison Avenue. (Emily Vance photo)
Last call approaches for Vancouver Island payphones?

Some payphones don’t get used for days as mobile phones diminishing need

Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
Flower power: COVID restrictions fuel bloom boom on Vancouver Island’

More people seeking flowers to add colour, says Sooke landscaper

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Most Read