There were 12 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the Island Health region in the past 24 hours. There are 76 active cases in central Vancouver Island, 28 in South Vancouver Island and 14 in the north. Across the island there are 118 active cases, according to Island Health.
Throughout B.C. there were 536 new cases reported today by Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. There was one additional death reported today. Of the 6,929 active cases in the province, 217 are in hospital and 59 are in critical care.
Henry expanded public health orders she previously issued for Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health to the entire province today. She also introduced new orders, including mandatory masks in indoor settings.
“We want to see a clear and notable difference and slowing of transmission in our province, across the province,” she said.
Premier John Horgan announced a prohibition on non-essential travel in B.C. Henry did not make this a public health order, but said it is expected people will limit travel for social and recreational purposes.
“We need to step back, we need to stay local. Stay within your community as much as possible,” she said. She called on people who may be planning on travelling to the province to postpone and if travel is essential, people must follow local public health orders.
Henry said there is hope with a vaccine on the horizon, but it is important to get case numbers back down. A vaccine is expected to be distributed early next year.
“The focus about this is making sure that we can keep our communities functioning. We can keep our businesses that are working safely open, we can keep the pressure off our hospitals, our ICUs, our long term care homes. We can protect those people who are elders and seniors and people in need of health care,” Henry said.
Increased hospitalizations, daily case counts, deaths and ICU admissions are all reasons for the new public health orders, according to Adrian Dix, B.C. health minister.
“We need to all be 100 per cent all-in in the battle against COVID-19. These orders give us direction today and we must give them the power they require to be effective. We ned to make these orders work to stop the spread and being 100 per cent all-in will get each of us and all of us there,” Dix said.