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Nearly 20 people die from COVID-19 in B.C. as Northern Health surges by 61 cases from latest weekend period

North averages roughly 20 cases a day over last three days
Dr. Bonnie Henry - Nov. 19, 2020
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. Provincial Health Officer. (via Flickr/Province of B.C.)

More cases are leading to more outbreaks in the north and across B.C., according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Out of a total of 1,933 new COVID-19 infections across the province this past weekend, 61 of them were found in Northern Health for a new regional total of 649.

The provincial total surpassed a new milestone to 27,407 cases since January.

The latest three-day case counts are as follows:

  • 713 = Friday to Saturday
  • 626 = Saturday to Sunday
  • 594 = Sunday to Monday

Shockingly, 17 people died since Friday (Nov. 20) from the virus, increasing the toll to 348 since the pandemic reached B.C.

"The majority of of these people were seniors and elders in seniors care," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said today (Nov. 23), and she suggested things could get worse as winter comes.

"As we move into winter, the virus spreads more easily. [...] Over the next two weeks, we need to urgently reduce the level of transmission in our province to keep our schools and work places open."

Of the 7,360 active cases, 277 people are in hospital, 59 of whom are in critical care.

There are 10,200 people self-isolating and being actively monitored for COVID-19, while 19,069 have recovered.

Northern Health has declared an outbreak at a North Peace Seniors Housing Society apartment complex after six cases of COVID-19 were found.

The outbreak declaration will be in place for at least 28 days, and all residents are being asked to take extra precautions within the apartment complex, including reducing visitors and social interactions, according to a Nov. 22 letter from Medical Health Officer Dr. Jong Kim. Those at risk have been asked to self-isolate.

"Northern Health and the North Peace Seniors Housing Society are working closely together to ensure enhanced control measures are followed, to protect the health of all residents and staff involved," Dr. Kim wrote.

Since B.C. students returned to the classroom in September, 16 schools in Northern Health's jurisdiction have been listed for COVID-19:

  • Bert Bowes Middle (SD60) - Nov. 16, 2020
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) - Nov. 10, 12, 13, 16, 2020
  • Chetwynd Secondary (SD59) - Nov. 13, 2020
  • Van Bien Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 9-10, 2020
  • Ron Brent Elementary (SD57) - Oct. 30, 2020
  • Hudson's Hope Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) - Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2020
  • Immaculate Conception School (Diocese of Prince George) - Oct. 21-23, 2020
  • Roosevelt Park Elementary (SD52) - Oct. 21-22, 2020
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) - Oct. 15-16, 2020
  • Notre Dame School (Private) - Oct. 13-14, 2020
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) - Oct. 2, 2020
  • Dawson Creek Secondary - South Peace Campus (SD59) - Sept. 23-25, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary (SD91) - Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • Quesnel Junior Secondary (SD28) - Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) - Sept. 16-18, 2020
  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary (SD59) - Sept. 10-11, 2020

Dr. Henry announced several new public health orders on Thursday (Nov. 19) that are in place until Dec. 7, to which a decision will be made to either extend, tighten, loosen or lift completely.

A big change is the mandatory use of masks in all indoor public and retail spaces, no social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble and no travel for sports teams outside their own community. More details are in the link below.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says this week's schedule for COVID-19 updates has slightly changed and in-person updates will now take place Wednesday (Nov. 25) and Friday (Nov. 27) as well.

More to come...

- with a file from Matt Preprost, Alaska Highway News, and Nelson Bennett, Business In Vancouver