FILE – Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. reports more than 2,500 COVID cases over the weekend as variants continue to spread

Just under half the cases were in Fraser Health

There were 2,518 COVID cases in B.C. over the weekend and six deaths, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

By day, they break down to 936 on Saturday, 805 on Sunday and 774 on Monday. By health authority, there were 816 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,280 in Fraser Health, 156 in Interior Health, 142 in Island Health and 121 in Northern Health. Three of the cases were in people who usually reside outside of Canada.

In total, B.C. has seen 98,165 cases of COVID since the pandemic began. The province’s death toll is now at 1,455.

Henry said Monday that there were three new health care outbreaks; one at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, one at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital and one at the Long Lake Chateau. The outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital has been declared over, making for a total of four current care home outbreaks and nine in acute care.

The province is also reporting 329 confirmed cases of variants of concern, for a total of 2,233 cases. Of those, 413 are currently active.

Of the total variant cases, 1,915 are the B.1.1.7 U.K. variant, 48 are the South African variant and 270 are the P1 Brazil variant.

Henry said that the increases in variants is a cause for concern. The B.1.1.7 variant is both more transmissible and shown to be more dangerous in younger people, most of whom are still unvaccinated.

“Also of concern, we’ve seen an increase in the P1, or the variant that’s associated with Brazil,” she said. “That is also a concern because we know this variant is not only more transmissible to people, it also has been shown in some parts of the world to be less amenable to the vaccine.”

The province is concerned that these new variants are driving much of B.C.’s current spike in transmissions.

Henry introduced a slew of new COVID restrictions, shutting down indoor activities including dining and group fitness. She also put on hold a variance to the gatherings order that would led religious congregations meet indoors in small groups to celebrate important upcoming holidays.

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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