B.C. health officials ask businesses to review COVID-19 safety plans as cases rise

·2 min read

VICTORIA — British Columbia health officials are asking businesses to review their COVID-19 safety plans as the province reports another daily record for new infections.

B.C. confirmed 589 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, pushing the number of active infections to 3,741. 

Two more people have died after contracting the illness, bringing the death toll to 275.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say keeping businesses open is important and the majority of people are abiding by health plans.

But in a joint statement they're asking businesses, particularly those in the Lower Mainland, to review those plans to ensure customers are being kept safe.

Rising case counts in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions are driving the outbreak in B.C., with 402 cases detected in Fraser Health alone on Friday.

There have been 17,149 cases reported in B.C. since the start of the pandemic.

Dix and Henry say public health teams are continually reviewing guidance and helping business owners ensure they're following the proper safety measures.

"We can all take confidence in knowing the vast majority of businesses are doing all they can to keep their employees and customers safe throughout the province," their statement says. "This has allowed us to have as much as possible open in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic."

The health officials are also urging customers to avoid businesses if they're feeling unwell, to wear a mask indoors and not to ask staff to bend the rules for them. 

B.C. has reported six new outbreaks at health-care facilities, meaning 31 assisted-living or long-term care homes and four acute-care facilities have active infections.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has also ticked up to 104.

"We have one COVID-19 curve in B.C., and we all have a role to play to get through this storm and push our curve back down," says the statement from Henry and Dix.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press