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

Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Tuesday (Jan. 26, 2021). (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey murder victim stabbed 42 times: pathologist

RCMP digital-evidence specialist also among witnesses

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

File photo
Surrey to borrow $150 million for three major recreation projects

That’s for a sports complex in the city centre, a sports and ice complex in Cloverdale and a community centre in Newton

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

(Pixabay)
B.C. teacher gets one-day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Most Read