Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Northern Health single-day case count record snapped, B.C. adds another 834

B.C. records another 12 deaths
B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (via Flickr/Province of B.C.)

Today's COVID-19 numbers were eyebrow-raisers. 

After Premier John Horgan said earlier this afternoon (Dec. 2) he hoped today's numbers would "catch people's attention," Dr. Bonnie Henry stepped in front of cameras and announced there have been another 834 COVID-19 cases throughout B.C. in the past day for an updated provincial total of 34,728 since the pandemic struck in January. 

Of those, Northern Health has tallied 45, which is a new record, as cases and hospitalizations surge in the region. The new authority total is 905. 

B.C. health authorities say there are 240 active cases in the north with 33 in hospital and 12 in ICU. A total of 657 have recovered which equates to 73 per cent.

There are 8,941 people listed as active for COVID-19 throughout the province, 337 are in hospital with 79 in critical care. 

Another 10,201 are under active public health monitoring after being exposed to someone infected with the virus while 23,424 have been classified as fully recovered. 

The past day has also seen another 12 deaths in B.C which raises the fatality rate to 469. Yesterday (Dec. 1) saw the deadliest day since the pandemic began where 16 deaths were announced. 

Northern Health has confirmed to PrinceGeorgeMatters that the authorities seventh death reported Tuesday was a man in his 80s. No other information has been released.

There has been another death in the region today, which brings Northern Health's death toll to eight.

Horgan appeared in front of the media earlier today and said he understands the struggle residents are going through, especially with holidays around the corner.

"The challenges ahead are significant. We know that. We've known that for many, many months," he said. 

"If we continue to focus on protecting each other, we'll come through this stronger than ever before."

In the north, Northern Health issued a warning yesterday (Dec. 1) of three COVID-19 exposures near Fort St. James.

A second exposure event has been detected at Nak'albun Elementary School, an independent institution, with students and staff potentially coming into contact with someone in the community who tested positive between Nov. 22 and 25.

The Nak'azdli Whut'en First Nation runs and operates the school, which takes in an average of 100 students each year, according to the district's website.

Two other public exposures in the district's area include the Fort St. James Cold Weather Shelter and The Key Resource Centre.

The dates of possible exposure in both facilities, according to Northern Health, are between Nov. 12 and 25.

"Public health officials are asking people who visited either the resource centre or shelter during this time period, to take extra care to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 until December 10th (14 days from the last date of possible exposure)," the authority says in a statement. 

"Public health contact tracing is underway and, where possible, NH is reaching out directly to individuals who have been exposed."

It adds if you have come into contact with the virus, Northern Health says its public health officials or the Nak’azdli Health Centre will contact you directly.

As of publication, Northern Health has not issued any new COVID-19 exposure warnings for schools throughout the region. 

Prince George's Sacred Heart Elementary School was listed yesterday with potential exposure between Nov. 25 and 27.

Northern Health's school-exposure section explains students should still go to school "if you do not receive a phone call or letter from Public Health," but you're also encouraged to monitor symptoms daily.

Should a student or teacher receive a positive COVID-19 test, the notification process is as follows:

  • Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with
  • We identify and notify close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advise them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days
  • Only Public Health can determine who is a close contact
    • Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact
  • Public Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community

The full list of northern B.C. schools at time of publication (Dec. 2, 3:15 p.m.) for COVID-19 exposure are as follows:

  • North Peace Secondary School (SD60) - Nov. 24-26, 2020
  • Sacred Heart Elementary School (SD57) - Nov. 25-27, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) - Nov. 22-25, 2020; Sept. 16-18, 2020
  • Charlie Lake Elementary School (SD60) - Nov. 23-24, 16-26, 2020
  • Ecole College Heights School (SD57) - Nov. 19-20, 20-24, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary (SD91) - Nov. 25-26, 2020; Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • William Konkin Elementary School - Burns Lake (SD91) - Nov. 16, 23-24, 2020
  • Fort St. James Secondary School (SD91) - Nov. 19-20, 20-26, 2020
  • Bert Bowes Middle School (SD60) - Nov. 16, 18-20, 2020
  • Beaverly Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 23-24, 2020
  • Foothills Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 23, 2020
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) - Nov. 20, 2020; Oct. 2, 2020
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) - Nov. 10, 12-13, 16, 19, 2020
  • Peden Hill Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 12-17, 17-20, 2020
  • Energetic Learning Campus - Fort St. John (SD60) - Nov. 16-20, 2020
  • Dawson Creek Secondary School - South Peace Campus (SD59) - Nov. 16-18, 2020; Sept. 23-25, 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
  • Quesnel Junior Secondary (SD28) - Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary (SD59) - Sept. 10-11, 2020

There are three official community/facility outbreaks still ongoing in the north. The North Peace Seniors Housing Society Apartments declared on Nov. 22, LNG Canada Project Site on Nov. 19 and Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek remain active. 

There have been 14 cases of COVID-19 confirmed to date at the North Peace Seniors Housing apartments in Fort St. John.

That's eight new cases since six were detected last month, leading to an outbreak declaration on Nov. 22.

However, Northern Health officials say most have since passed their infectious period and the outbreak is set to stay in place until Dec. 20.

The cases have been limited to residents only, and 10 are no longer considered contagious, said Executive Director Kim Wilson.

There have been no new deaths, and no new cases over recent days as some residents are still waiting for test results.

“We’re feeling really positive, the staff is feeling really positive,” Wilson said.

Common areas remain closed, and traffic throughout the apartments has slowed considerably, but volunteers also continue to make daily health calls to each and every tenant.

“It has helped a lot,” Wilson said. “They’re lonely, they’re in their apartments, so it’s nice to hear that consistent voice every day."

“The community support has been marvellous,” she added. “We’ve had a couple companies donate gift bags for those in isolation, so that made their day”

Northern Health spokesperson Eryn Collins said proactive testing is being done for those at highest risk from close contact with confirmed cases, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

In Prince George, Walmart Canada has confirmed to PrinceGeorgeMatters that an employee tested positive for the virus while a third-party vendor that was in the store last month also had a confirmed case.

"If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, we take a number of actions including informing local public health authorities," Walmart Spokesperson Felicia Fefer said in an emailed statement. 

"We respond transparently to requests received about the number of confirmed cases in stores, distribution centres or offices from customers or media."

The team member last worked on Nov. 24 while the third-party vendor was last in the vicinity on Nov. 2.

On Nov. 27, both the Real Canadian Superstore and Canadian Tire confirmed to PrinceGeorgeMatters they had positive tests come back involving its employees. 

Both companies said the stores increased cleaning and sanitation measures and no customers were at risk. 

On Wednesday (Nov. 25), the College Heights Tim Hortons location also confirmed an employee has tested positive, which promoted the closure of its restaurant until Dec. 1 for extra cleaning. 

Fort St. John's Walmart location has also confirmed a case of COVID-19 from one of its employees, who last worked Nov. 25.

- with files from Kyle Balzer, PrinceGeorgeMatters, and Hayley Woodin, Business In Vancouver