B.C. has passed another sombre milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 10,000 cases now confirmed to date, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday.
In her daily briefing, Henry said 110 more cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus have been confirmed, and one more person has died. To date, B.C. has confirmed 10,066 cases of COVID-19, including 245 people who have died.
Henry said that passing the threshold of 10,000 cases should serve as a reminder of how many people have been affected by the pandemic, and how important it is to take measures to prevent transmission.
“No matter what the numbers may be, thank you for what you are doing,” Henry said.
As of Thursday, there are 1,394 active cases of the disease in B.C. and 3,139 are being actively monitored by public health officials because of potential exposure to the virus.
A total of 76 patients are in hospital, including 17 in intensive care — the highest number of hospitalizations since May 1.
There are now 14 active outbreaks in long-term care homes and three in acute care units of hospitals. A community outbreak at Teck Coal Mines in the Interior Health region has been declared over.
Despite the high number of new cases being confirmed every day in recent weeks, Henry has said B.C. is beginning to flatten the curve of infection once again. The rate of growth for the active caseload has begun to drop while testing ramps up significantly.
In the last 24 hours, B.C. has performed 12,052 tests, Henry said Thursday.
The latest numbers come as health officials urge people across the province to plan COVID-safe Thanksgiving celebrations with a small number of people who share a social bubble.
Henry has recommended individual servings rather than buffet-style meals and outdoor dining rather than indoor if at all possible.
On Thursday, she reiterated a reminder to stay local and celebrate Thanksgiving at home this weekend.
“Let’s make this Thanksgiving weekend about gratitude and kindness,” she said.
Henry also issued a reminder to business owners to keep their workplaces safe by making it easy for employees to stay home if they’re sick, maintaining physical distances between workers, doing daily screenings for symptoms and tracking who is on site every day.
Health officials are also urging everyone who is able to get their flu vaccine this year in order to prevent an overload of the health-care system.
Henry acknowledged Thursday that demand has already been very high for the flu shot, but the province has ordered extra supplies and has a plan to make sure as many people as possible are immunized.
But she said that at this early point in the season, people at risk of serious illness and those who work in health care should be the first priority for receiving the vaccine.
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