In the first COVID-19 update of the week, B.C. health officials gave a record-breaking announcement, revealing 1,120 new cases of the disease were reported over the weekend.
Dr. Réka Gustafson, deputy provincial health officer, and Health Minister Adrian Dix gave the update during a live briefing Monday afternoon.
Gustafson said 352 cases were recorded from Friday to Saturday while another 389 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday. Finally, 379 more positive tests were counted from Sunday to Monday.
As of Monday, there were 2,945 active cases of the disease in B.C., which is the highest active caseload the province has ever recorded. Ninety of those are currently in hospital, with 19 in critical care.
The previous record for positive tests recorded in a single day was 317, while the previous active caseload record was 2,390.
Gustafson also announced six more people died from COVID-19 over the weekend. All of them were in long-term care facilities.
"It's an extraordinarily difficult time to grieve. We've seen that and the challenges that people have with a respect to grieving and our inability to come together in these moments," Dix said.
"So I want to … pass on our condolences and say that our thoughts are with all the families, are with all the communities, are with all the care givers, are with all the friends of the six people who passed away."
Monday's update also marked the first time more than 300 cases were reported daily for multiple days in a row.
"These numbers are concerning for all of us," Gustafson said.
"But we have learned a great deal about COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. We have learned what living with the virus looks like and what we need to do to keep ourselves, those around us and our community safe."
Gustafson said monitoring the pandemic, testing and contact tracing are all key.
"These are the tools that we'll continue to use as we navigate this pandemic in the coming months," she said.
Gustafson said spikes in cases as the weather gets colder aren't unexpected, especially as people start spending more time indoors.
"We are going to see fluctuations and surges in some communities. We know this from British Columbia, we know this from around the world," she said.
"The recent increase in cases in the Lower Mainland and particularly in Fraser Health are an example of this. And when we do experience these surges, we need to respond with increased effort and stepped-up focus using all of the public health measures we have available to us."
New outbreaks announced
Gustafson also revealed three more outbreaks were reported across the province over the weekend. One was at the Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre, a second was at the Hamilton Village Care Centre and the third was at the Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek.
As of Monday's update, there are 28 active outbreaks in health-care facilities across B.C.
No new community outbreaks were reported.
"We are entering the 11th month of this pandemic, and social connection is very important to our personal and community well-being and we need to continue to live well and live safely," Gustafson said.
"This is not about stopping our lives, nor is it about being careless. It's about learning how to do the things that are important to us safely and we have learned a great dealt together in the past months."