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

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Most Read