What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Nov. 25

·4 min read

THE LATEST:

  • 738 new cases of COVID-19 were announced on Wednesday, along with 13 more deaths.

  • There are now 29,086 confirmed cases in the province to date.

  • 294 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, including 61 in intensive care.

  • 371 people have now died of the disease.

  • Masks are mandatory for everyone in indoor public spaces and retail environments.

  • Anyone who does not comply could face a $230 fine.

  • Health officials ordered dance studios, yoga studios, gymnastics centres and other spaces offering group indoor fitness to suspend activities.

  • An outbreak at the Burnaby Hospital is tied to 55 cases and five deaths.

  • Social gatherings with anyone outside your household remain prohibited everywhere in B.C.

  • Indoor and outdoor community and social events are suspended.

  • British Columbians are advised to avoid unnecessary travel.

British Columbia added another 738 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as the province continued to urge everyone to pause social interactions and said there could be fines for those who don't wear masks.

The Fraser Health region continued to drive the spike in new infections with 443 or 60 per cent of Wednesday's new cases.

There are currently 294 people in hospital, up from 209 a week ago. Of that number, 61 are in intensive care, the same as Tuesday.

The death toll now stands at 371. Across the province, there are now 7,616 active cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Public health is monitoring 10,270 people in B.C. who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure, which is 13 fewer than Tuesday.

There are currently 52 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and five in hospitals.

Data glitch changes week of results

On Wednesday, Provincial Health Minister Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a data correction for results from Fraser Health over the past week due to an data glitch.

Daily numbers from Fraser Health changed from Nov. 16 to Nov. 24. On Tuesday, 678 cases were originally announced for the region. The accurate number is 432.

Overall the corrected data presented by the government on Wednesday still showed the province's COVID-19 curve trending up, but at a slower rate that originally reported.

Health officials are imploring British Columbians to abide by the latest provincial health orders and keep their social interactions as minimal as possible as the province battles this second wave of COVID-19.

'A sign of respect'

Dix and Henry both spoke to new $230 fines for people who fail to abide by new mandatory mask rules.

Henry said Wednesday that she "has no time" for people who are aggressive or rude about refusing to wear a mask, or those who spread conspiracy theories about COVID-19.

"I have no time for people who believe that wearing a mask somehow makes them ill or is a sign of lack of freedom," Henry said.

"To me, it's about a sign of respect for our fellow people who are suffering through this with us."

Social gatherings remain restricted to household members only.

Restrictions around group fitness classes were tightened on Tuesday with dance studios, yoga studios, gymnastics centres and other group indoor fitness activity being temporarily suspended.

The latest public health orders will remain in effect until at least Dec. 7.

After an outbreak at the Burnaby Hospital, 55 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 and five people have died, Fraser Health confirmed.

The health authority is also investigating 40 cases involving staff to determine whether they are connected to the outbreak.

The hospital is not accepting new admissions with the exception of the intensive care, maternity and community palliative care units.

READ MORE:

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

There have now been more than 347,000 cases of COVID-19 in Canada.

A vaccine is expected to become available in the coming year, but Canada has not yet specified how it will be distributed, aside from a promise to work with provinces and territories to buy cold storage.

The federal government has procured 358 million doses of vaccine from seven companies, an insurance policy of sorts in case some of the vaccines in development prove to be ineffective in clinical trials.

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.