What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Dec. 2

·4 min read

THE LATEST:

  • New restrictions mean indoor adult team sports are banned, kids' sports limited.

  • Health officials announced 834 new cases Wednesday.

  • There are now 8,941 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C.

  • 337 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, including 79 in intensive care.

  • 469 people have died of the disease since the pandemic began.

  • A total of 10,201 people are under active public health monitoring and in self-isolation because of exposure to known COVID-19 cases.

  • There have been 34,728 confirmed cases in the province to date.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced a ban on all indoor adult team sports and new limitations on children's sports as the novel coronavirus continues to spread through the community.

Meanwhile, she said news of vaccine approval in the United Kingdom is encouraging but urged British Columbians to double down on efforts to reduce transmission until vaccines are available in this province.

Henry said she expects vaccines to be ready in coming weeks and is getting B.C.'s immunization plans together, but until then, provincial health orders must be followed to stem "unchecked" transmission.

"I am asking you all to continue and do a little bit more," Henry said at a Wednesday briefing with Health Minister Adrian Dix.

On Wednesday, Henry reported 834 new coronavirus cases. The province now has 8,941 active cases and 34,728 cases to date.

There are 337 patients with COVID-19 in hospital, including 79 in intensive care.

Henry also announced 12 more COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the death toll to 469.

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Health officials have ordered British Columbians to pause all social interactions and be vigilant applying different layers of protection, including physical distancing, washing hands and using masks.

"Remember that events, which refer to anything that gathers people together — whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis — are not allowed for now," Henry said in a release on Tuesday.

Island Health outbreaks

Late Tuesday, two outbreaks were declared on Vancouver Island — one at Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Victoria and the other at West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni.

On Wednesday morning, Island Health Chief Medical Officer Richard Stanwick said health officials have a pretty good idea of where exposure occurred in Port Alberni, but are still at a loss when it comes to the Saanich Peninsula outbreak.

For this reason, Stanwick said the Victoria facility is currently closed to the public, with the exception of some outpatient services and the emergency department.

According to Island Health, the outbreak in Port Alberni is limited to one unit and the medical-surgical B-wing has been closed as a precaution while the rest of the hospital remains open.

An Island medical health officer is also currently embedded in the Ehattesaht First Nation community near Zeballos and will remain until Thursday, to help bring an outbreak there under control.

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What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of Tuesday night, there have been more than 383,468 cases of COVID-19 in Canada.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government will be ready to deploy vaccine shots soon after they receive the necessary Health Canada approvals.

He also touted the government's plan to inject up to $100 billion into Canada's post-pandemic economy, calling it a "historic and appropriate" spending plan.

Meanwhile in Alberta, there are signs that the hospital system is under "significant strain" because of a surge in cases.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough.

  • Tiredness.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Loss of taste or smell.

  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.

  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.