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Trend continues: Northern Health passes 200 COVID-19 cases as region, province break single-day records

No new deaths from the virus
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer. (via The Canadian Press)

COVID-19 numbers remain high in B.C. with summer nearing its end.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced a new single-day record 139 COVID-19 cases discovered in the past day during an update from Victoria this afternoon (Sept. 10).

Ten of the new cases are in Northern Health, also a new single-day record for the region, bringing the authority's total to 203, including seven that are hospitalized.

Henry said many of the cases in the north are still related to the religious gathering in Alberta through the transmission of the virus. Officials added while the numbers may seem smaller to other parts of B.C., the number of cases rising and increase of hospitalizations is concerning in the region.

The province's new grand total is 6,836 with 1,412 active cases. 

No new deaths were recorded since Wednesday (Sept. 9), keeping the fatality rate at 213.

There are also 42 people in the hospital, 14 of which are in critical care. There are 3,109 on active-monitoring for possible exposure and 5,190 recoveries.

Yesterday, the province unveiled its fall plan to tackle COVID-19 as the influenza season also hits and children are back in school as of today. 

"We're preparing for the challenges that the influenza season will bring to an already challenging pandemic situation," said Premier John Horgan during a news conference. 

Dix outlined B.C.'s fall pandemic plan, which is based on four scenarios, from best to worst-case.

"The B.C. health system is well-placed to meet the demand with the backstop of knowing that we can successfully implement more extreme hospital access control measures, if they are required," he said.

The plan includes additional funding for health care -- $1.6 billion in total – and thousands more front-line health care workers:

  • Increased testing for COVID-19
  • Increased contact tracing
  • Enhanced influenza immunizations
  • Up to 5,000 new hires for cleaners, food servers and aids for hospitals
  • 2,000 additional workers for long term care and assisted living
  • A new Hospital At Home program 

The province is earmarking $42 million for the Hospital At Home program, a new program set to offer around-the-clock medical care for eligible patients.

By treating them in their homes, the risk of them spreading flu or COVID-19 to others in hospital is reduced.

The government is allocating $44 million for the recruitment and training of 7,000 new health care workers, including for seniors homes through the new Health Career Access Program.

Hospitalizations due to influenza typically begin to rise in September and peak in December and into January. In the past, hospitalizations for respiratory illnesses have been as high as 126 during the peak of flu season in December and January.

More to come...

with files from Kyle Balzer, PrinceGeorgeMatters, and Nelson Bennett, Business In Vancouver