B.C. confirms 2,000 cases, 28 deaths over holiday weekend
Another 2,000 cases were confirmed in B.C. over the Thanksgiving weekend, the provincial health ministry said in its latest update on COVID-19.
In a news release, the ministry said 28 deaths were confirmed in the same four-day period, between Friday and Tuesday. This news comes days after the provincial toll of the pandemic reached 2,000 lives lost.
The update on the spread of the novel coronavirus in the province came hours after a new mask mandate came into effect.
Children aged five and older, who were already required to mask up in school, are now required to wear face coverings in other indoor public spaces as well.
Also in effect as of Tuesday is a provincial vaccine mandate for long-term care staff and visitors. Nearly 2,000 workers who haven't had either shot of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine are off the job due to the mandate.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said those who choose not to comply with this mandate are "subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination."
The vast majority – 96 per cent – of these workers have had at least one shot.
Health officials in B.C. give daily COVID-19 updates except on weekends and holidays. After a break for Thanksgiving, Tuesday's update included two new outbreaks recorded in the period since the ministry's last case-related news release.
Friday's update revealed 743 more people tested positive in a 24-hour period, which brought the seven-day average for cases to 671.
As well, five more deaths were announced, which pushed B.C.'s death toll from COVID-19 to 2,001.
The most new cases were recorded in Fraser Health, which counted 265. Another 196 were reported in Northern Health, while Interior Health had 143. Island Health reported 70 new cases. Meanwhile, in spite of being the second-largest health region in the province, Vancouver Coastal Health recorded just 69 new cases.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Alyse Kotyk