B.C. records 427 new cases of COVID-19 and 3 more deaths

·2 min read
People are pictured walking at Garry Point Park in Richmond, B.C.
People are pictured walking at Garry Point Park in Richmond, B.C.

(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 427 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 232 people, 63 of whom are in intensive care.

They repeated a refrain that has become familiar over the last year, urging everyone to show "kindness, compassion and care" to others in order to make it through the pandemic.

"Keeping our communities and each other strong is about taking care of our physical health and mental well-being, and supporting those around us to do the same," Henry and Dix said.

"Most people in B.C. are doing the right thing, and we encourage everyone, in turn, to support friends and family to also continue to take precautions in their daily lives. It is not only our individual efforts that make the difference, but the power of all of us working together that helps break the chains of transmission."

Those words of encouragement follow a warning from Henry during her live briefing on Tuesday that "the tide can turn quickly, with daily cases hovering between 400 and 500 and "too many people still bending the rules," holding small social gatherings in defiance of public health orders.

A total of 1,317 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, out of 74,710 confirmed cases.

There are currently 4,150 active cases of coronavirus in the province, and public health is monitoring 7,238 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation because of exposure to known COVID-19 cases. More than 69,167 people who tested positive have recovered.

So far, 176,015 people have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including 26,030 second doses.

Meanwhile, Fraser Health declared an outbreak Wednesday at Mission Memorial Hospital, after three patients tested positive for the virus. The health authority says the outbreak is limited to the PATH and medicine units, which are both temporarily closed.

The outbreaks at Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver and Mountain View Manor in Delta have been declared over.

Earlier Wednesday, the chief justice of the B.C. Supreme Court denied an application from the province for an injunction against three Fraser Valley churches regularly violating COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person services.

The judge said it is within the province's power to escalate enforcement of standing public health orders and that it was up to the province, not the court, to do so.