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BC breaks previous case count record, again

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:02 PDT, Thu October 22, 2020

Last Updated: 4:56 PDT, Thu October 22, 2020

BC has recorded its second consecutive day of record-breaking cases, and the active cases have risen to nearly 2,000.

The main cause of new cases is transmission at social gatherings, particularly those like weddings and funerals, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The impact of these gatherings is “far-reaching,” she said.

“Right now, with a global pandemic, with cases surging all around us, with the numbers that we’re seeing, we know it’s in our community now,” said Henry. “And for us to live with it through this respiratory season, through this winter, we need to take those measures now, to keep those important celebrations small and plan for when we can have those larger celebrations in a safe way next year.”

Henry said transmission at these social events is spilling over into other parts of the community, including the healthcare system, workplaces and schools. While many new cases are concentrated in the Lower Mainland, cases from social events have spread across the province. And Henry says it’s because people are not sticking with COVID-19 safety plans for social gatherings—despite their best intentions to keep gatherings small and safe.

“The reality is right now that in BC—everywhere in BC—weddings, funerals and other life occasions need to be small, as small as possible,” she said. “Every gathering needs to be our own household only, and at maximum, our safe six.”

To people who are hosting events, Henry said don’t invite those outside your bubble and don’t take offence if guests say “no” to the invitation.

“Show you care by keeping those outside your immediate household off your invite list right now,” she added.

She said now is also the time for workplaces to revisit their safety plans, as there has been transmission in several workplace settings. WorkSafe BC will be conducting increased inspections across the province in the coming days and weeks.

During her update today, Henry also announced 274 new cases including one that is epidemiologically linked. The new cases bring BC’s total to 12,331, of which 1,920 are active cases. Additionally, 4,425 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

There are 71 people in hospital, of whom 24 are in critical care. There were no new deaths announced, and no new community outbreaks. There was one new healthcare outbreak announced, and one existing outbreak was declared over, leaving 20 active outbreaks in the healthcare sector.

Henry commented on BC’s first school exposure that was reported yesterday in Kelowna. There are now five cases associated with this outbreak, and these include both students and staff.

“We are not seeing return to school causing amplification in our communities, but it does—as we have been expecting—reflect what is going on in our communities,” said Henry. 

She added children are still under-represented in new cases, and most new cases are in younger adults. 

Henry also said while most people in BC have done the right thing, she can and will put additional measures in place if there is a major source of transmission. 

“I am appealing to us all, we need to continue to do our part together, to stand together by staying apart, and we need to do that every day,” said Henry.

For a list of community exposure events, click here.
For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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