B.C. health officials have called a rare Saturday news conference to address the spike in COVID-19 cases in the province.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Health Minister Adrian Dix will speak at 1 p.m.
On Friday, they reported 589 new cases , the highest number in one day for the province, and two more deaths, which means 275 people in B.C. have died from the virus.
Of the 589 cases, 104 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 28 in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Health officials also announced there have been six new health-care facility outbreaks at Suncreek Village, Fort Langley Seniors Community, Northcrest Care Centre, Fellburn Care Center – PATH unit, Ridge Meadows Hospital and Langley Memorial Hospital.
In total, 31 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and four acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
In a grim joint statement, Henry and Dix alluded to “the gathering storm clouds of increased exposures and transmission,” and encouraged businesses, particularly in the Lower Mainland, to review their COVID-19 safety plans.
“As we have done with many sectors, public health teams are continually reviewing guidance and working with individual business owners to help navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and continue to operate safely,” said Henry.
“When faced with the gathering storm clouds of increased exposures and transmission in a particular sector, we step up inspections to identify gaps and, at times, increase the safety measures that are required. Only if it is clearly demonstrated that a business or sector is unable to operate safely are businesses ordered to close.”
More to come…