549 new cases of COVID-19 in BC

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Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Stephen Brown, deputy minister of health reporting 549 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths over the Thanksgiving weekend.

"We are announcing four 24-hour reporting periods, says Dr. Henry. "In the first reporting period from October 9th  to 10, we had 170 new cases. From October 10th to 11th, we had 159 new cases. From October 11th to 12th, we had 119 cases and in the last 24 hours we have had a further 101 new cases. This represents a total of 549 new cases, including five epi-linked cases, for a total of 10,734 cases in British Columbia."

Doctor Henry points out the large number of cases need to be put in context.

"The increase in cases is in part a result of a recent testing backlog, which was cleared with extra lab processing over the weekend. While this has meant an increase in the overall number of confirmed positive cases, the active cases and percentage positive remain stable. There are 1,476 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,618 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 8,974 people who tested positive have recovered. There have been five new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 250 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Parents are also being urged to limit their child's extra-curricular activities and sports.

"As recreational sports like hockey and youth soccer return, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 exposures," says Doctor Henry. "In some cases, sport facilities have been closed. Like many other activities that have restarted, provincial sports organizations and sports facilities require COVID-19 safety plans to ensure a safe return to sport. Similar to the approach in the recent NHL playoffs, the plans have prioritized the players over the spectators, with restrictions in place in arenas and on the sidelines. We have to remember that spending time socializing or cheering with other parents and fans before, during and after games, increases the risk of transmission and exposure for you and your family. As much as we want to see the winning goal or celebrate the perfect pass after the game, we need to ensure we are keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe by always following our COVID-19 safety basics."