COVID-19 claims six lives since Friday

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue uptick, wildfires add to concerns for respiratory illness

bonnie henry sept 3
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry urges people not to exercise outdoors until smoke from wildfires clear. | BC Government

There were more than 300 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Friday, six deaths and an uptick in hospitalizations.

"COVID-19 has not left us, and it has required all of us to adjust our daily activities," said provincial health officer Bonnie Henry.

Over the past three days, hospitalizations increased from 49 to 58. At the peak of the pandemic, there were more than 140 people in hospital. Asked if the increasing number of hospitalizations worries her, Henry said she hopes that hospitalizations won't reach the numbers that they did in the spring.

Smoke from wildfires in Washington and Oregon has added an extra level of concern for pregnant women and  people with asthma, respiratory illnesses, diabetes and other conditions. While in the past Henry has urged British Columbians to get outside for exercise, she is now urging people to stay inside.

"Outdoor exercise should be avoided right now until the skies clear," she said. She added that the wearing of face masks to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 can also help filter out some of the particles from wildfire smoke.

Smoke can cause dry coughs and congestion in otherwise healthy people, especially those with asthma or allergies, which could lead to students or workers being sent home, for fear that they have symptoms of COVID-19.

Henry said there has been no new outbreaks at health care facilities, and four have been declared over. A second outbreak at Holy Family Hospital has been declared over, and outbreaks are also declared over at MSA Manor, Czorny Altzheimer Centre, and the George Derby Centre. There are currently 13 long-term care facilities in B.C. with active cases of COVID-19.

There have been no community outbreaks since Friday, and one outbreak at a correctional facility in the Okanagan has been declared over.

Here are today’s COVID-19 numbers for Monday, September 14, with numbers from Friday September 11, the last reporting period, in brackets:

  • New cases: 317 (132)
  • Total: 7,279 (6,962)
  • Active cases: 1,594 (1,461)
  • Recovered: 5,446 (5,273)
  • Hospitalized: 58 (49)
  • Intensive care: 16 (10)
  • Deaths: 219 (213)

Confirmed cases by region:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health: 2,557
  • Fraser Health: 3,754
  • Island Health: 195
  • Interior Health: 473
  • Northern Health:  216