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

Demonstrators lined Hwy 16 May 5 to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Deb Meissner photo)
VIDEO: Smithers gathering marks Red Dress Day honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Approximately 70 people lined Hwy 16, drumming, singing and holding up placards

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

The road to Telegraph Creek (Hwy 51) was closed April 15 due to a washout. On May 4, the road was opened to light-duty passenger vehicles during specific times. (BC Transportation and Infrastructure/Facebook)
Telegraph Creek Road opens for light-duty vehicles

Road has been closed since April 15 due to a washout

On any given day, Brenda Mallory can be found holding court in her front yard on her acreage near Tyhee Lake. (Thom Barker photo)
Spice of Brenda: Our long-time columnist gets frank (when wasn’t she?)

Brenda Mallory has packed a lot of creativity into her life

Gitxsan Nation extends fishing ban for non-Indigenous permit holders indefinitely . (Photo courtesy, Travis Murphy)
Gitxsan Nation extends ban for non-Indigenous fishing permit holders across their territory

The move comes after the province backed away from ongoing discussions with Gitxsan chiefs and DFO

(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’

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

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

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

Most Read