48 new COVID-19 cases confirmed on Island over weekend

There were 48 new cases of COVID-19 in Island Health over the weekend, part of 1,933 new test positive cases in the province since Friday.

The province also recorded an additional 17 deaths, all in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions, bringing the total to date to 348.

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Most were seniors and elders in long-term care, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

There are now 277 people in hospital, including 59 people in intensive or critical care.

Of the new cases, 414 were in Vancouver Coastal and 1,304 were in Fraser Health. The two regions remain the hardest hit in the province, and despite regional orders put in place almost two weeks ago, there has not been a slowdown in infections.

New province-wide orders and restrictions prohibiting social gatherings and mandating masks in indoor public and retail spaces were announced Friday along with an advisory restricting non-essential travel.

“This next two weeks is critical for us,” Henry said.

The provincial health officer said new orders are in place until at least Dec. 7 and asked also asked people to look for ways they can follow the rules rather than to look for the loopholes.

“I understand that this pandemic is tiring, and the orders, make it more difficult,” said Henry. “We don’t want to have these things in place but right now, we need to focus on today. Focus on the intent, what we’re trying to do right now, which is stop those transmissions from happening, reducing our connection that we can get through this … pandemic together.”

Six new outbreaks in health care settings were announced, for a total of 54 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and six in acute care. None of the new outbreaks is in Island Health.

There are now 970 active cases of COVID-19 in long-term care, including 583 residents and 365 staff. “That is a very sobering thought for us,” Henry said.

Across B.C. there are now 7,360 active cases and 10,200 people isolating and being monitored for the virus.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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