A woman wears a mask to protect herself against COVID-19 as he walks past trees turning colour in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A woman wears a mask to protect herself against COVID-19 as he walks past trees turning colour in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. breaks records with 425 new COVID-19 cases; test positivity rate of 3.8%

Nearly 3,400 active cases in B.C. currently

B.C. has broken a new daily record with 425 COVID-19 cases, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday (Nov. 5).

That brings B.C.’s total confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 16,550, of which 3,389 are currently active. There are no new fatalities, leaving the death toll at 273. More than 7,500 people are under public health monitoring due to the virus.

Henry said that 268 cases come from the Fraser Health region, while 126 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, eight from Interior Health, seven in Island Health and six from Northern Health.

The 425 new cases emerged from 11,020 tests, with a positivity rate of 3.8 per cent. This is the third time B.C.’s test positivity rate has spiked – once in April, again in September (though not as high) and now.

There are 97 people in hospital – 24 of whom are in intensive care – as numbers continue to creep up. More than half the hospitalizations are in Fraser Health, the B.C. region hardest hit by the virus.

There is one new health care outbreak, bringing the total to 30, of which 28 are in long-term care.

Henry said while there are no new public health orders, officials are looking at high-risk activities in COVID-heavy regions. These include indoor exercise and dance classes and other indoor gatherings in Metro Vancouver.

She asked that people who work on the front lines such as essential workers, or those who know of COVID-19 cases in their circles, avoid such activities.

“As we look at these numbers, we are all concerned. I’m asking once again for your help to slow the spread so we can keep our schools, our workplaces, open,” Henry said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said that B.C.’s struggle with COVID-19 is not unique.

“The COVID-19 tide is rising.”

Dix also threw out a new catchphrase when it came to private gatherings and house parties, which are still a leading cause of COVID-19 transmission.

“Don’t throw, don’t go, say no,” he said.

The current public health order restricts gatherings in private homes to a household plus their ‘safe six,’ which must be the same six every time. In Fraser Health, officials have asked people to refrain from even that safe six, keeping gatherings in private homes to just the household.

READ MORE: No ‘safe six’ for household gatherings in Fraser Health as region leads B.C. in COVID cases

READ MORE: B.C. realtors asked to halt open houses due to spike in COVID cases

READ MORE: Canada updates COVID-19 guidelines to include airborne transmission, following U.S., WHO


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