A woman wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past a “Thank You” sign in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A woman wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past a “Thank You” sign in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 11 deaths, 557 new COVID cases

11 more deaths for total of 310, 198 now in hospital

Editor’s note: The B.C. health ministry made an error in reporting Fraser Health data between Nov.17 and Nov. 24. This story originally reflected the data officials released on Nov. 17; it has now been updated with the new daily cases and Fraser Health numbers.

After four days of finding more than 600 new COVID-19 cases, B.C. public health officials identified 557 more people with the novel coronavirus Tuesday.

The new cases continue to be found mainly in the Lower Mainland, with 324 in the Fraser Health region and 177 more in Vancouver Coastal. Case counts also crept up in other parts of B.C., with 16 new infections in Island Health, 18 in Interior Health and 21 in the Northern Health region.

The latest care home outbreak is in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, adding to more than 50 active in the province, most in the Lower Mainland. The latest is a positive test by one staff member, triggering the outbreak protocol, but no residents are showing symptoms.

The Nov. 17 results come as the second week of restrictions on gatherings in private homes and indoor fitness is in effect. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry extended her advice to avoid non-essential travel beyond the urban Lower Mainland to the entire province this week.

“We have seen an increase in new cases on Vancouver Island, in the Interior and in the North, many of which are connected to travel to and from the Lower Mainland,” Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement. “That is why is it important that we stay local and travel less right now.”

Hospitalizations and deaths are also climbing, with 198 people now in hospital with COVID-19, 63 in intensive care. There have been 11 more COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 310 in B.C. since the pandemic began. There are now almost 11,000 people under active public health monitoring after confirmed exposures.

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