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 pair of Okanagan Regional Library reference librarians have created a podcast called Hard Cover that takes a zany but informative look at books, libraries and librarians. (File photo)
Okanagan reference librarians produce quirky podcast

Davin Helkenberg and Peter Critchley are behind Hard Cover

Heather Smart poses with her certificate as the first women in a decade to earn this credential in the Kootenays. (Contributed)
Local shift boss blazing the way for women

Heather Smart is the first women in the Kootenays in ten years to receive this certification

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

A CP grain car has derailed near Field, causing a power outage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Train derailment knocks out power in Field

Power is not expected to be restored until tomorrow

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Superstore
Three employees test positive for COVID-19 at Okanagan Superstore

Penticton 7 Eleven has reopened after closing for a week for COVID

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

A rendering of the proposed “Aqua” resort in Kelowna’s Lower Mission area. (Contributed)
Towering waterfront resort planned in Kelowna

Mission Group’s ‘Aqua’ resort has been in the works for more than a decade

“My grandma always just said…making people smile is the most important thing,” says Nicholas Kruger. (Chehala Leonard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Entrepreneur Nicholas Kruger nominated as Okanagan community changemaker

With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra music director Rosemary Thomson in action at the podium. Photo by Lynda Miller.
Kelowna filmmaker gets funding to create new ‘Local Heroes’ documentary

The documentary will be focused on the director of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Opera

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Colton Jacob Thorsen. (Facebook)
Accused Osoyoos shooter to be tried by judge

Colton Jacob Thorsen is charged with attempted murder stemming from an October 2020 incident

Most Read