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Province of British Columbia
JOINT STATEMENT
For Immediate Release
2020HLTH0061-001949
Nov. 19, 2020
Ministry of Health
Office of the Provincial Health Officer
Joint statement on B.C.’s COVID-19 response, latest updates

VICTORIA – Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“Today, we are reporting 538 new cases of COVID-19, including nine epi-linked cases, for a total of 24,960 cases in British Columbia.

“There are 6,929 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Currently, 217 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 59 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

“There are 9,977 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 17,207 people who tested positive have recovered.

“We have had 178 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 309 in the Fraser Health region, 12 in the Island Health region, 28 in the Interior Health region, 11 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

“There has been one new COVID-19 related death, for a total of 321 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have four new health-care facility outbreaks at Cottage-Worthington Pavilion, Langley Memorial Hospital, The Residence at Clayton Heights and Windermere Care Centre.

“There has been one new community outbreak at JGC Fluor BC LNG Joint Venture, a contracted site of the LNG Canada plant and project in Kitimat.

“The change in season is affecting the ways and places we interact with others and this, in turn, is affecting how COVID-19 is spreading in our communities.

“This virus never rests and the trends that started in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions are now evident throughout the province.

“While we may feel frustrated or disheartened, we must remember that we flattened our curve before and we can again.

“Our individual actions do make a difference and our public health teams are here to support us in our efforts.

“On Nov. 7, we issued regional orders to slow the rapid transmission we are seeing in social interactions, in certain workplaces and in higher-risk indoor settings, like group fitness activities.

“We are now expanding and amending these provincial health officer orders across the province. As was the case for the previous regional orders, the new provincewide orders focus on three areas: social gatherings, workplaces and group physical activities. Each is outlined in the backgrounder below.

“Our focus is to slow the spread over the next one to two incubation periods and protect those who are most at risk.

“The coming weeks will be the most difficult in our pandemic, but hope is on the horizon. We can protect the ones we love and keep our hospitals, schools and workplaces open if we remain focused on reducing our in-person interactions for now.

“To support the continued safe operation of schools, the provincial health officer has created a rapid response team that will identify and manage exposures and outbreaks in Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health region schools, and enhance communication with school communities.

“To support comprehensive workplace COVID-19 safety plans, active inspections will be increased across the province. Businesses that do not comply will be subject to fines and/or ordered to close. Environmental health officers will focus on workplaces in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions to ensure full compliance and enable rapid response and action.

“As we approach the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, we should remind each other that it is also the day that we begin to turn back toward the light. By pulling together now we can overcome the challenges before us.”

Learn More:

For more details on today’s orders, visit: http://gov.bc.ca/covid19

Nov. 12 modelling update:
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/modelling-projections

To find the provincial health officer’s orders, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

To see a map of COVID-19 cases by local health area, visit: 
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data

If you are experiencing symptoms, find a collection centre near you to get tested: 
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing

For mental health and anxiety support, visit: www.bouncebackbc.ca
Or: www.anxietycanada.com

For a listing of the community exposure events, go to:
BCCDC (flights, work sites, etc.): http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure
Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/
Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/outbreaks-and-exposures
Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures
Vancouver Coastal: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.

For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BCProvincialGovernment/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGovNews
YouTube: www.youtube.com/ProvinceofBC

Four backgrounders follow.

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 1
For Immediate Release
2020HLTH0061-001949
Nov. 19, 2020
Ministry of Health
Office of the Provincial Health Officer
New provincial orders

Social gatherings

All indoor or outdoor events as defined in our Gathering and Events order are prohibited. This includes religious, cultural or community events, with the exception of baptisms, funerals and weddings. These may proceed with up to 10 people including an officiant if a COVID-19 safety plan is in place. There are to be no associated receptions of any kind in any venue.

There are to be no social gatherings at residences with anyone other than those who reside there. People who live alone must host no gatherings, but can continue to see one or two of the same members of their core pandemic bubble at home.

Group physical activities

Businesses, recreation centres or other venues that organize or operate indoor group spin classes, hot yoga and high-intensity interval training will stop for the fall and winter.

Guidance on other physical activities done with a group indoors will need to follow updated guidance that is being developed. 

Sports activities can continue, but there is to be no travel outside of communities for games or competitions, and no spectators are allowed. League organizers should continue planning for 2021 with today’s modifications in mind.

Workplace safety

All businesses and worksites must conduct active daily screening of all on-site workers using their COVID-19 safety plans.

Workers and customers must wear masks in indoor public and retail spaces (except when eating or drinking), and in workplace common areas, including elevators, hallways, group or break rooms, kitchens and customer counters.

Office-based employers should temporarily suspend their efforts to safely get employees back to their workplace and support work-from-home options wherever possible.

Travel

All non-essential travel outside of one’s community is strongly discouraged. People travelling to stay with immediate family members should ensure they do not host or participate in any social gatherings.

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 2
For Immediate Release
2020HLTH0061-001949
Nov. 19, 2020
Ministry of Health
Office of the Provincial Health Officer
Assisted-living, long-term care homes, seniors’ rental buildings and acute-care facilities with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks

Assisted-living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings:

Vancouver Coastal Health – 10 facilities

  • Arbutus Care Centre (second occurrence)
  • Banfield Pavilion
  • Capilano Care Centre
  • Columbus Residence
  • Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge
  • Holy Family Hospital (fourth occurrence)
  • Louis Brier Home & Hospital
  • Royal Arch Masonic Home (second occurrence)
  • Three Links Care Centre
  • Windermere Care Centre

Fraser Health – 32 facilities

  • Agassiz Seniors Community
  • Agecare Harmony Court Estates
  • Al Hogg Pavilion (second occurrence)
  • Amenida Seniors Community
  • Belvedere Care Centre
  • Chartwell Langley Gardens (second occurrence)
  • Cottage-Worthington Pavillion
  • Dania Home (second occurrence)
  • Evergreen Baptist Care Society
  • Fellburn Care Centre
  • Finnish Manor
  • Fort Langley Seniors Community
  • George Derby Centre (second occurrence)
  • Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre
  • Harrison Pointe
  • Hawthorne Senior Care Community – assisted living
  • Hawthorne Seniors Care Community – long-term care
  • Holyrood Manor
  • Jackman Manor
  • Kiwanis Care Centre
  • Langley Memorial Hospital
  • Laurel Place
  • Menno Home
  • Northcrest Care Centre
  • Peace Portal Seniors Village (second occurrence)
  • PICS Assisted Living (third occurrence)
  • Suncreek Village
  • Tabor Home (second occurrence)
  • The Harrison at Elim Village (second occurrence)
  • The Residence at Clayton Heights
  • The Residence in Mission
  • White Rock Senior Village (second occurrence)

Northern Health – two facilities

  • Peace Villa
  • Rotary Manor Dawson Creek

Interior Health – four facilities

  • Hamlets at Westsyde
  • Orchard Manor
  • Sun Pointe Village
  • Village by the Station

Island Health – one facility

  • Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens

Acute-care facilities:

  • Burnaby Hospital
  • Langley Memorial Hospital
  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
  • Ridge Meadows Hospital
  • Surrey Memorial Hospital
  • Royal Columbian Hospital
 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 3
For Immediate Release
2020HLTH0061-001949
Nov. 19, 2020
Ministry of Health
Office of the Provincial Health Officer
Surgical renewal commitment: weekly update

From March 16 to May 17, non-urgent surgeries were postponed as part of the initial COVID-19 response. Urgent and emergency surgeries continued to be performed during this period.

On May 7, health authorities began calling all patients waiting for surgery to confirm they were ready to proceed with their surgery in a COVID-19 environment. To date, 110,097 patients have been contacted about their surgery. Five of the six health authorities have completed all their calls to patients on the waitlist prior to May 7. Island Health will complete its calls by the end of November.

Health authorities resumed non-urgent surgeries on May 18. They have completed a combined total of 165,469 surgeries as of Nov. 15, 2020, of which 128,611 were urgent and non-urgent scheduled surgeries, and 36,858 were unscheduled or emergency surgeries.

Total surgeries completed by health authority since May 18:

  • 45,375 in Fraser Health
  • 30,215 in Interior Health
  • 9,662 in Northern Health
  • 38,973 in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • 34,522 in Island Health
  • 6,722 in the Provincial Health Services Authority
 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 4
For Immediate Release
2020HLTH0061-001949
Nov. 19, 2020
Ministry of Health
Office of the Provincial Health Officer
Contact-tracing hiring: weekly update

Snapshot of progress:

Health authorities continue to work through the significant number of interested contact-tracing job candidates. Across all health authorities/roles:

  • 434 candidates are in the interview stage
  • 102 candidates are in the offer process

There also continues to be interest in the contact-tracing positions, primarily through health authority mechanisms. In total:

  • 9,393 individuals have expressed interest, with 2,121 individuals expressing interest to Health Match BC and 7,272 expressing interest directly to health authorities. In the past week, 645 people have expressed interest.
  • HMBC has referred 1,347 individuals to regional health authorities and Provincial Health Services Authority as appropriate.

This week, an additional 66 roles were filled in the Lower Mainland. To date, 702 individuals have been hired – more than the 500 initially announced in August or 608 announced in September.

In addition, government has recently approved increases to several health authorities, bringing the total number to be hired to over 950 positions. 

The Ministry of Health approved the First Nations Health Authority to hire 76 community health representative positions to support culturally safe contact tracing efforts within First Nations communities.

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Health
Communications
250 952-1887 (media line)
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect