One of the most recent deaths related to the ongoing pandemic in B.C. has been linked to a 10-person birthday party, health officials confirmed Thursday (Oct. 29).
Speaking from Surrey – the city seeing the highest number of COVID transmissions – provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 234 new cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday.
This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 2,344 in the province. Eighty-six people are in hospital, 24 of whom are intensive care.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4,588 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 8,036 in the Fraser Health region, 256 in the Island Health region, 734 in the Interior Health region, 406 in the Northern Health region and 89 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
In addition, another person has died – a senior woman within the Fraser Health region. That brings the total number of deaths to 262.
Henry confirmed the woman had attended a small gathering for a birthday, where she contracted the disease from someone who was unknowingly infected, fell ill and later died.
During the news conference, Henry also reminded British Columbians of the official health order which bars people from having more than six guests over at once, essentially banning large Halloween parties and other indoor gatherings.
“Fall is a time when many holidays and celebrations occur, whether that is Halloween, Diwali or Remembrance Day,” she said. “It is a time of cooler weather and increased respiratory illness. This year, we also face the added challenge of COVID-19.”
Henry added that in recent weeks, new test-positive cases have been linked to gatherings during Thanksgiving long weekend.
“This Halloween weekend, we need to celebrate in new ways. We need to keep our groups small – in our homes and on the streets.”
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.