What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Dec. 3

·3 min read

THE LATEST:

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

  • Patients from northern B.C. are being sent to Victoria for treatment as hospitals reach capacity.

  • Health officials announced 694 new cases Thursday, as well as 12 more deaths.

  • There are now 9,103 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C.

  • 325 patients are in hospital, with 80 in intensive care.

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

B.C.'s COVID-19 caseload continues to grow while the daily death toll keeps hitting double digits as the second wave of the pandemic shows no sign of slowing down.

On Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 694 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths. There are 325 patients in hospital with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a slight dip from Wednesday. Eighty are in intensive care.

Henry reminded the public to stay strong and follow public health orders, saying it's the decisions we make individually that will determine our ability to bend the curve back down.

COVID-19 patients from northern B.C. are now being sent to Victoria as a spike in cases there pushes the health care system in the Northern Health region to its limits.

Upward of 20 per cent of B.C.'s critical care patients are from the north, despite the region holding only six per cent of the provincial population.

In response to growing concerns, health officials have announced a ban on all indoor and outdoor adult team sports as well as new limitations on children's sports, and updated the restrictions for group fitness activities.

A full list of suspended adult indoor and outdoor sports, along with update information on the rules for fitness can be found here.

Meanwhile, Henry said she's cheered by news of vaccine approval in the United Kingdom, but she's encouraging British Columbians to double down on safety measures until the shot is available here. She said she expects vaccines to be available to some in the coming weeks.

The province now has 9,103 active cases out of 35,422 to date. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 481 people have died of COVID-19.

There are 10,849 people in isolation across the province who are being actively monitored by public health workers.

Public health orders remain in place, banning all public and community events and limiting social interactions to people within your immediate household. Those orders will be reviewed on Monday.

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What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of Thursday morning, there have been 393,070 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 68,292 of those cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 12,369.

As the situation in Alberta continues to worsen, the province has reached out to the federal government and the Canadian Red Cross to ask for field hospitals to offset the strain on the health-care system.

Hospitals in Quebec are filling up as well, and doctors say they're worried Christmas gatherings could push them over the edge.

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.