Dr. Henry asks people to rethink social gatherings as single-day case record broken once again

The province has seen 274 new cases over the past 24 hours, resulting in B.C.'s provincial health officer calling on residents to take a step back from social gatherings outside their "safe six."

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is asking people to rethink their plans for social gatherings in light of a second consecutive day of a record-breaking number of new cases.

Thursday's report from the province says there have been 274 new cases over the past 24 hours — breaking yesterday's record case count of 203.

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Henry said she is considering changing public health orders going forward as a result of the surge of new cases, but said there are many challenges moving into the winter as people gather more inside.

"The risk is too high for all of us. We've seen that in other jurisdictions, that this virus can get out of control quickly," she warned on Thursday.

Many of the new cases are linked to weddings and funerals, even those adhering to the province's 50 person limit, Henry said.

"The intent may have been to have small distanced groups and numbers under 50 ... Sometimes that doesn't happen, or people change their plans as the evening progresses," she said.

Henry called on people to return to their "safe six" limited social circles.

"It's time to reset — to make sure that we're keeping our groups small," she said. "It's time to pull back on the social side of our lives."

The province now has 1,920 active cases, with another 4,425 people under active public health monitoring due to potential exposure.

In hospital, there are 71 people, with 24 of those in critical care.

No new deaths were announced on Thursday. The province has seen 256 die due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Of the province's now 12,331 confirmed cases, 10,114 have recovered.

The outbreak at Kelowna's École de l'Anse-au-sable school has now grown to five cases as public health officials continue to investigate.

Those two cases are part of 12 new positive tests in the Interior Health region, which has now seen 644 cases.

Elsewhere in the province, there have been 4,260 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 6,720 cases in Fraser Health, 249 in Vancouver Island Health, 365 in Northern Health and 88 among those who reside outside Canada.

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