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B.C. records 274 new COVID-19 cases – fourth record high in last six days

Average new daily cases in October so far is more than 145, or more than six times that of July
Dr. Bonnie Henry
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry regularly provides updates on the extent of COVID-19 in B.C.

The run-up in the number of newly discovered COVID-19 cases in B.C. continued October 22, with 274 infections identified in the past 24 hours, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry told media.

This is the fourth record-high number of daily cases in the past six days, and it puts the average number of daily cases in the first 22 days of October at more than 145 per day. That compares with an average of more than 110 cases per day in September, more than 69 cases per day in August and more than 23 cases per day in July. 

More than three-quarters of the new cases, or 208, were identified in the Fraser Health region. 

That region's CEO, Victoria Lee, earlier today warned people to be vigilant, and said that most cases are linked to known infections. 

"Community related clusters and outbreaks have been connected to private gatherings, social events, such as weddings, and workplaces," Lee said. "Transmissions from these events can also spread to health services and health facilities, and I think from what we have seen so far, even small gatherings are risky right now."

Henry said that some of the new cases are connected to Thanksgiving gatherings, which would have been nearly two full weeks ago, and within the incubation period for the disease. 

"I know of at least one or two that were related to Thanksgiving gathering, family gatherings that were quite large – not over the 50 [person] limit, but groups of families coming together," she said. "It's a small percentage but that certainly was part of what we were seeing in the past week."

There were 10,398 tests conducted province-wide in the past 24 hours, for a positive-test rate of 2.63%, which is comparatively high for the past few weeks, although below the recent record of 3.14% on October 20. 

Big picture, the total number of COVID-19 cases identified in the province since the virus first was detected here in late January is 12,331.

Of those, more than 82%, or 10,114, have recovered. There are 1,920 people in the province actively fighting infections, with the vast majority of those self-isolating at home. There are 71 people whose illness is severe enough to be in hospital, with 24 of those sick enough to be in intensive care units of hospitals. 

Some good news is that there were no new deaths recorded overnight, meaning that the province's death toll from the virus remains at 256.

Data is not available for 46 people who were listed as being infected in B.C., and health officials have told BIV that the most likely answer is that they left the province without telling authorities. 

The number of people who are being monitored by health officials for symptoms has reached a record 4,425.

Here is a breakdown of all known infections in B.C. by health region, with the number of new cases overnight in brackets:
• 4,260 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up 45);
• 6,725 in Fraser Health (up 208);
• 249 in Island Health (up five);
• 644 in Interior Health (up 12);
• 365 in Northern Health (up four); and
• 88 people who reside outside Canada (no change).

There remain active outbreaks at two B.C. hospitals: Surrey Memorial Hospital and Delta Hospital.

One seniors' home that had an outbreak yesterday, the Weinberg Residence in Vancouver, has had the outbreak declared over.

There are 17 other seniors' long-term care or assisted-living facilities with ongoing, active outbreaks. They are:
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• Good Samaritan Victoria Heights in New Westminster;
• Sunset Manor in Chilliwack;
• Three Links Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home in Vancouver;
• Haro Park Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Point Grey Private Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey;
• PICS assisted living facility in Surrey;
• Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Zion Park Manor in Surrey;
• The Village in Langley;
• Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Resident in Mission;
• Thornebridge Gardens in New Westminster;
• Fort Langley Seniors Community in Fort Langley; and
• Baillie House in Maple Ridge; and
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre long-term care facility.