Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 20, 2020.
We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.
Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.
B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS
As of the latest figures given on Nov. 19:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 24,960 (6,861 active)
• New cases since Nov. 16: 539
• Hospitalized cases: 217
• Intensive care: 59
• COVID-19 related deaths: 321 (1 new)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 9,929
• Recovered: 17,027
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 59
LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.
3 p.m. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.
Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.
Canada’s chief public health officer says there’s “urgency” to bring infections down as officials released dire new forecasts indicating that COVID-19 case counts have far surpassed levels seen during the first wave.
Dr. Theresa Tam says COVID-19 cases could skyrocket to 60,000 per day by the end of the year if Canadians increase their contact rates.
The forecasts predict that at current rates Canada’s case total could land between 366,500 and 378,600 and the death toll could fall between 11,870 and 12,120 by the end of the month.
The modelling predicts that at current rates of contact, Canada is careening towards a surge of more than 20,000 cases per day by the end of December.
But if socialization increases, the projections indicate that as 2020 draws to a close, Canada could see twelvefold increase from the current level of around 5,000 cases per day, which is already straining the health-care system in some regions.
The Canadian Press
6 a.m. – Staff member tests positive at Richmond McDonald’s
McDonald’s Canada temporarily closed one of its restaurants in Richmond Thursday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
The infected employee worked their last shift at the restaurant, located at 8191 Alderbridge Way, on Nov. 14 from 7 a.m. to noon.
All crew members who may have been in close contact with the employee have been asked to self-quarantine.
Anyone who visited the restaurant on Nov. 14 is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms and take direction from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
The restaurant has reopened following a cleaning.
British Columbia’s 37 downhill ski hills are preparing to open, as the provincial health officer asks British Columbians not to travel within the province for recreational or social needs.
Tough public health orders have been expanded and extended across the province, as B.C. posts another bad COVID-19 day.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there five new health-care facility outbreaks, an outbreak at an LNG Canada worksite in Kitimat, one death, 538 fresh cases and health resources were strained. There are 59 active outbreaks in long-term care homes and hospitals and 9,929 active cases across the province.
Henry said Nov. 9 orders restricting visits to family homes and shuttering spin, hot yoga and high intensity training sessions had been extended until Dec. 7 and broadened across the province. The original order impacted only Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health, which accounts for three million people.
Henry said the disease was spreading across B.C. and health resources were being tapped and she needed to act now.
Baptisms, weddings and funerals will be limited to 10 people – including seven guests – and no events before or after.
Places of worship are closed for groups and all events and gatherings are banned.
Masks are mandatory in indoor retail spaces and indoor public spaces, including elevators. There are to be no spectators at any indoor sports game.
12 a.m. – – High earners took advantage of CERB
Newly released data on emergency COVID-19 aid shows that some of the country’s highest-income earners used a key benefit for workers.
The $2,000-a-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit paid out just over $81.6 billion in benefits to 8.9 million people from March until it ended at the start of October.
It was predominantly used by people who earned under $47,630 in 2019, figures from the Canada Revenue Agency show, but those higher up the income ladder also applied for the aid program.
The CRA numbers show that at least 114,620 people who earned between about $100,000 and $200,000 last year applied for the CERB.
A further 14,070 people who had made more than $210,000 applied for the benefit.
Health officials say there are more than 100 cases of COVID-19 at Tabor Home in Abbotsford, in the largest outbreak at a long-term care centre in the Fraser Health region since the pandemic hit B.C. in March.
Fraser Health declared the outbreak on Nov. 6, saying that two staff members and two residents had tested positive for the virus. Tabor Home is a long term care facility in Abbotsford that is owned and operated by Tabor Village. It has 118 long term care beds.
In a note to family and friends Monday, Tabor Village said that 42 staff and 59 residents had tested positive for the virus.
“Many staff who tested positive for the virus were in shock as they experienced no symptoms,” the note said.
“It is our belief that many of these positive cases are individuals who already had the virus within them, but didn’t display symptoms or show on their test until later.”
B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS
LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information
Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.
–with files from The Canadian Press