B.C. had 911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths, in past 24 hours

911 new cases, 11 deaths

A new daily record was once again set for British Columbia's new COVID-19 cases identified in the past 24 hours, with another 911 new cases, 47 coming from the Interior. 

The new cases bring the total positive tests in B.C. to 30,884, but there remains 8,472 active cases. There are now 399 active cases in the Interior Health region. 

An additional 10,430 people are self isolating after coming into contact with COVID-positive people.

Hospitalizations in B.C. have reached a new high as well, reaching 301 patients on Friday, 69 of whom are being treated in critical care. Ten of the hospitalizations are in the Interior, one of whom is being treated in ICU.

Eleven British Columbians in the Lower Mainland have died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the majority of whom were in their 70s and 80s. Most were residents of long-term care homes. There have now been 395 COVID-related deaths in B.C., 64 in the past week alone. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C. hospitals are currently at 71 per cent capacity, when COVID-19 surge hospital beds are taken into account, while critical care capacity is at 55 per cent. 

Another three outbreaks have been declared in B.C. long-term care homes, while one has been declared over. There are now active outbreaks in 54 long-term care homes and five acute care homes. There are 728 active cases of the virus among care home residents, along with 434 care home staff. 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province, and the entire world, is seeing much higher levels of community transmission of the virus than the spring and summer, and even from a few weeks ago. As a result, some of the activities that were relatively safe earlier in the pandemic are no longer safe. 

She noted it's a "cruel irony" that in times when British Columbians need to reach out to loved ones the most, it's dangerous to do so in person.

She also expressed concern with the "undeserved aggression" store and restaurant employees have faced around the province from people who don't want to wear a mask. She said wearing a mask is just like wearing a seatbelt or travelling the speed limit, and those who don't want to wear one should order take-out, shop online and stay outside. 

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