Testing results from the Thanksgiving long weekend brought 549 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., along with five more deaths. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the large number of new cases are partly due to a testing backlog, which she said has been cleared.
Of the five deaths, two were recorded in Fraser Health and three were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health. None of the deceased were residents of long-term care homes. As of Oct. 13, 250 people in the province have died of COVID-19.
In total, there have been 10,734 confirmed cases in B.C. this year, with 8,974 having recovered. There are 1,476 active cases, of which 77 people are in hospital, 24 of whom are in intensive care — both numbers that are the highest since early May.
In the City of Kamloops and immediate surrounding area, there have been 82 confirmed COVID-19 cases through the end of September. In September, there were 22 cases of COVID-19 recorded in the Kamloops area. In the Interior Heath region, there are 30 active cases, with one person in hospital — and in intensive care.
To date in Interior Health, there have been 42 people hospitalized and two deaths — one involving a man in his 70s at Royal Inland Hospital and one involving a man in his 60s in Kelowna. Both men died in April.
More than 3,600 people are in isolation due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.
There are outbreaks at 20 long-term care homes and hospital acute-care wards, none of which are in Interior Health.
Case count by health authority:
• Fraser Health: 5,595
• Vancouver Coastal Health: 3,892
• Interior Health: 582 (an increase of 23 since Friday, Oct. 9)
• Northern Health: 341
• Island Health: 235
• Visitors and temporary foreign workers: 89.
While COVID-19 case counts are up, what’s remained the same is the test-positive rate that is hovering at about 1.9 per cent.
“This is where we want to be,” Henry said.
Asked for her thoughts about this year’s flu shot amidst the pandemic, Henry said the flu shot is safe, adding it is more important than ever to keep cases of influenza low to avoid an overrun of the health-care system and to help tell the difference between it and COIVD-19.
Asked about the mixed messaging coming from U.S. President Donald Trump and his doctors regarding how long he was contagious for and how long he should have been isolating, Henry said she couldn’t “speak with any degree of understanding of what’s happening with the U.S. president,” but noted what’s been learned to date is that most people who have a mild case of COVID-19 are no longer infectious after about 10 days.
Trump spent about three days in hospital after his COVID-19 diagnosis before returning to the Oval Office. On Monday, the president’s doctor said he tested negative for the virus on consecutive days. At rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania this week, Trump told crowds he is now immune to COVID-19.