FILE – People wear face masks and stand apart from one another to curb the spread of COVID-19 as they wait in line to take a pharmacy technician exam at Vancouver Community College, in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records 549 COVID-19 cases, 5 new deaths over Thanksgiving long weekend

Province working on province-wide plan to make testing more efficient

B.C. has recorded 549 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

In her Tuesday (Oct. 13) update, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 170 cases from Friday to Saturday, 159 cases from Saturday to Sunday, 119 cases from Sunday to Monday and 101 cases from Monday to Tuesday. None of the five deaths over the weekend were in long-term care, and they bring B.C.’s death toll to 250.

“The numbers are higher than we want to see,” Henry said, but noted that a backlog in cases contributed to the high number of cases, and that active cases have stayed fairly level. Active cases jumped by 70 over the long weekend to 1,476. There are currently 77 people in hospital, with 24 in ICU. There are about 3,600 people under public health monitoring. The province recorded four new health-care outbreaks, while two others were declared over, bringing the total to 17 in long-term care and three in acute care. There have been 10,734 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Henry said the province is working on a plan to make testing as efficient as possible, but acknowledged there have been delays due to shortages.

The provincial health officer said that B.C. has “seen an increase in community exposures connected to recreational sports,” in recent days and weeks, as recreational sports leagues like hockey and basketball start up again.

“Some sports facilities have needed to close… for periods of time,” Henry said. She added that while exercise was important, families with children in school and in other programs needed to remember to limit their contacts.

“Pick one league, don’t pick multiple leagues,” Henry said. “Our action today have a direct impact on how our province will fare tomorrow and in the weeks to come.”

Every different league that both adults and children join exposes everyone to a new group of people, and potential exposures, Henry added.

READ MORE: Grand Forks RCMP break up weekend rock concert, recommend criminal charges


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