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Northern Health sees 131 more COVID-19 cases and two new deaths

79 people are hospitalized and 18 are in critical care

The province is reporting 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Northern Health today (Oct. 19) and two additional deaths.

There are now 797 active cases in the region with 79 people hospitalized, 18 of whom are in critical care.

With the two lives lost today, there are now 195 confirmed deaths in Northern Health since the pandemic began.

Province-wide B.C. is reporting 560 new cases of COVID-19 and 4,913 active cases. Of the active cases, 382 individuals are in hospital with 146 of them in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

In the past 24 hours, five new deaths have been reported in B.C., including the deaths in Northern Health, for an overall total of 2,086.

The province is also battling 24 active health care facility outbreaks including at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George, GR Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel and Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton.

Northern Health is currently in a ‘circuit breaker’ with new restrictions in effect until at least Nov.19. The orders are aimed at reducing the transmission and number of hospitalizations in the region.

"Hospitals in Northern Health are overstretched as beds become filled with COVID-19 patients, primarily unvaccinated. People needing critical care are being transferred to other regions of the province. Everyone needs to get immunized to help keep our hospitals open for treating people with other illnesses,” said Northern Health chief medical health officer Dr. Jong Kim. Until more people make the choice to get vaccinated, we need to ensure we have orders in place to protect the most vulnerable and limit the spread.”

The new orders include:

  • Personal gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, are restricted to fully vaccinated people, including at private residences and vacation accommodation
    • Indoor gathering: up to 5 people are permitted
    • Outdoor gathering: up to 25 people are permitted
  • All indoor and outdoor organized events require a safety plan and for attendees to wear a mask and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated
    • Indoor event: up to 50 people are permitted
    • Outdoor event: up to 100 people are permitted
  • Worship services: virtual services are required
  • Restaurants:
    • Fast-food restaurants and unlicensed cafés without table service can provide take-out only or require patrons to present the BC Vaccine card showing they are fully vaccinated.
    • Licensed establishments and those with table service must not serve alcohol between 10 p.m.-9 a.m. and must require patrons to present the BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated.
    • Bars and nightclubs (no meal service) will be closed
  • Sport events spectators (indoor and outdoor) are limited to 50 per cent capacity, must have a safety plan, and require attendees to wear masks and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated

Throughout B.C. from Oct. 11-17, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 67.1 per cent of cases and from Oct. 4-17 they accounted for 75.5 per cent of hospitalizations.

The province is reporting that as of Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, 89.2 per cent or 4,136,000 of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 83.5 per cent or 3,870,709 have received their second dose.

In addition, 89.7 per cent or 3,879,091 of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 84.2 per cent or 3,640,757 have received their second dose.