B.C. adds 272 new COVID-19 cases, grants powers for region-specific health orders

British Columbia added another 272 cases of COVID-19 to its total, as the number of people isolating due to possible exposure topped 6,000 for the first time.

In a written statement, health officials said one additional person had died, bringing the total to 264.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also granted new powers to regional medical health officers to issue stricter public health orders for their jurisdictions.

Regional orders a ‘possibility’ amid surge in B.C. coronavirus cases

Read more: Region-specific orders a ‘possibility’ as COVID-19 cases surge in Fraser Valley: Henry

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The new powers came in the same provincial health order banning more than six visitors from residential homes announced earlier this week.

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“(Regional medical health officers’ orders) may add further prohibitions, or impose more restrictive limitations or conditions, with respect to gatherings and events in the geographic area of the province, or a part of the geographic area of the province, for which the medical health officer is designated,” states the new order, posted Friday afternoon.

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No such regional orders had been issued as of Friday.

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B.C. now has 2,390 active cases of COVID-19, while 6,003 people were in isolation — both record highs.

Seventy-eight people were in hospital, 25 of them in critical or intensive care.

About 81 per cent of B.C.’s total 14,381 cases have recovered.

A new community outbreak was declared at the Suncor Firebag Oil Sands. There were also three new outbreaks in long-term care and healthcare facilities, while three were declared over.

The new outbreaks were at Hawthorne Seniors Care Community, CareLife Fleetwood and Queen’s Park Hospital unit 3C NMSK 2.

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