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

A BC Hydro outage is affecting nearly 4000 customers in Kitimat. The cause of the outage is under investigation. (Screenshot/BC Hydro Outage Map)
Cable fault responsible for Kitimat power outage, BC Hydro says

At its peak, the BC Hydro power outage affected near 4,000 customers

Graph showing the 2020 passenger totals at the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace. (Submitted/Northwest Regional Airport)
New year brings an end to a turbulent 2020 at Northwest Regional Airport

Passenger totals half of what they were in 2019

Wireless voice and data services are out for those on Telus as of Thursday (Jan. 14) afternoon across Western Canada, Telus Support said in a recent Tweet. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Telus services restored across Western Canada

Telus said they are monitoring the situation to ensure connections remain stable

The leisure pool at the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be open Thursday and closed Friday for maintenance, the DoK said in an updated Facebook post Thursday (Jan. 14). (Kitimat Leisure Services photo)
UPDATE: Leisure pool at Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre open Thursday, closed Friday

The leisure pool will be closed Friday (Jan. 15) for maintenance due to a mechanical issue

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read