B.C. health officials reported 1,959 new COVID-19 cases over three days and nine new deaths on Monday.
There were 654 cases from Friday to Saturday while 659 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 646 from Sunday to Monday.
All three daily totals topped the previous daily high of 617, which was reported on Friday.
Of those cases, 1,361 were in the Fraser Health region and 455 were in Vancouver Coastal Health. The nine deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 299.
The number of people in hospital increased by 14 to 181, a record high. There are 57 people in intensive care, an increase of seven from Friday and the highest total since April 15.
There are 6,279 active COVID-19 cases in the province and 10,928 people are in self-isolation.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said British Columbians need to return to how they thought and behaved during the first wave of the pandemic, limiting social interactions and eliminating non-essential travel.
“In some ways, we need to be thinking the same vibe as we were in April, and that means thinking about our social gatherings,” she said.
Henry noted that one difference between now and the spring is that many businesses such as restaurants and hair salons have shown they can operate safely with the proper protocols in place.
Henry called mask-wearing an essential part of lowering transmission of COVID-19, but added the use of face coverings has not been mandated since much of the transmission is occurring in private homes which would not be impacted by a mandate.
“Many of the settings that we are talking about are settings where people would not naturally wear a mask like in your home or at a party,” she said.
Henry added that businesses need to have a COVID-19 safety plan, and mask-wearing should be part of the plan for businesses that interact with the public.
Monday’s numbers come after three schools in the Fraser Health region were told to close over concerns of COVID-19 transmission.
The numbers out of B.C. brought Canada’s total COVID-19 caseload over 300,000. The bleak milestone comes less than a month after Canada crossed the 200,000-case threshold on Oct. 19.
— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press
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