B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)

B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

B.C.’s run of days with more than 200 new COVID-19 cases continued Friday, with 223 new cases that brought the number of active infections to 2,009.

Hospitalizations in B.C. remained low, with 75 people in hospital, 24 in intensive care. There were no additional deaths associated with the novel coronavirus for Oct. 23.

Friday’s total is down from Thursday, Oct. 22, with the new positive test record of 274. That came from 10,398 total tests, twice the number of daily test results as a few weeks ago, a growth that has contributed to the higher total of positive tests reported each day.

The number of daily cases jumped to more than 200 this week as the final days of the B.C. election campaign wound down. Henry said the increase in infections is largely generated by wedding and funeral gatherings in the Fraser Health region, as well as some workplace exposures. The first official school outbreak involved three positive tests at a Kelowna school, but most of the latest cases are traced to community exposures such as parties and gatherings.

There have been two outbreaks in senior care facilities, Laurel Place in Surrey and Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge. Four others have been declared over, leaving 16 long-term care or assisted living facilities and two acute-care wards with active outbreak protocols in place.

“In recent days, we have seen a number of new outbreaks of COVID-19 in the community and in long-term care facilities,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement. “Contact-tracing teams throughout our province are working around the clock to stop further spread, but it requires all of us to do our part to be successful in these efforts.”

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