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B.C.'s uptick in new COVID cases was expected: Henry

Surrey Board of Trade asks Bonnie Henry to reconsider shutdown of nightclubs
Dr. Bonnie Henry
'This is something that we have expected' -- provincial health officer Bonnie Henry.

B.C. marked 100 new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday, but the increasing rates of infection were not unexpected, says provincial health officer Bonnie Henry.

Daily new cases have been steadily increasing since about the end of July, as expected.

“As we managed to move into our restart plan over the summer, we have had increased numbers of cases of COVID-19,” provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said Wednesday at a press conference, when the province announced its fall pandemic and influenza management plan. “This is something that we have expected.”

The increasing numbers are partly the result of increased testing. The more important indicator is the number of people in hospital. Those numbers, too, have been rising, though they remain far below what they were earlier this year.

B.C. has done a comparatively good job of tracking the virus and containing transmission rates. The one area where B.C. is struggling to contain the spread of the virus, however, is in nightclubs, private parties and other large, indoor gatherings – basically anywhere where large numbers of people are drinking.

Henry said nightclub and banquet hall operators, for the most part, did their best to impose safety measures, but said partying in large groups indoors is simply inherently risky.

“We have seen transmission events happen repeatedly at those venues,” Henry said.
On Tuesday, Henry announced that she was ordering nightclubs and banquet halls to be shut down again. That is sure to drive some nightclubs out of business.

The Surrey Board of Trade is asking Henry to rethink that decision, saying the order came without warning or consultation with the hospitality industry.

"Issuing a general and immediate, sector specific closures and operational restrictions, without consultation or government support will result in permanent detrimental impacts to businesses, compromising our economy and jobs,” said Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman.

“I know it’s challenging for the industry, but they are just not safe environments right now, and it has taken up a huge amount of public health resources to try and track people,” Henry said Wednesday.

There have been no new deaths since yesterday, but there have been two new outbreaks at health care facilities: Royal Arch Masonic Home and the Milieu Children and Family Services Society.

Here are today’s COVID-19 numbers for Wednesday, September 9, with numbers from Tuesday, September 8, the last reporting period, in brackets:

  • New cases:100 (429)
  • Total: 6,691 (6,591)
  • Recovered: 5,086 (4,978)
  • Active cases: 1,378 (1,386)
  • Hospitalized: 37 (32)
  • Intensive care: 15 (12)
  • Deaths: 213 (213)

Confirmed cases by region:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health: 2,285
  • Fraser Health: 3,482
  • Island Health: 185
  • Interior Health:462
  • Northern Health: 193