Coronavirus Canada Updates: B.C. shatters records with 274 new COVID-19 cases, social gatherings blamed

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Coronavirus Canada: Alberta health officials to provide live COVID-19 update this afternoon
Coronavirus Canada: Alberta health officials to provide live COVID-19 update this afternoon

For the second day in a row, British Columbia has announced a record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases.

At a Thursday briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 274 new cases — shattering the previous record, announced Wednesday, of 203.

B.C. is now facing 1,920 active cases, nearing the previous record of 1,987 set in September. In addition, 4,425 people were in isolation due to possible exposure.

The province’s death toll was unchanged at 256.

Despite surging cases, the situation in B.C. hospitals has remained relatively stable since early October.

Seventy-one people were in hospital, 24 of them in critical or intensive care.

About 82 per cent of B.C.s 12,331 cases have recovered.

Much of the surge in new cases has been driven by social gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, which Henry described as “high risk.”

A small percentage of the new cases were also linked to “large” Thanksgiving gatherings.

Many of the events have been concentrated in the Lower Mainland, but their effects have since spread province-wide as attendees returned to homes outside the region, Henry said.

They have also spread into the healthcare system and workplaces people who were exposed returned to work, she added.

“People are not sticking with their COVID-19 safety plans for social gatherings, particularly ones like weddings and funerals,” Henry said.

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