NewsB.C. passes 13,000 COVID-19 cases as Province enacts orders limiting private gatherings SHARE ON: Ryley McCormack, staff Monday, Oct. 26th, 2020 Dr. Bonnie Henry (Supplied by B.C. Government Flickr)A record number of new cases have been reported over the weekend, while the East Kootenay has a total of 39 infections, with two new cases reported between October 9th and 22nd.B.C.’s health authorities have reported 817 cases since Friday, adding up to 2,335 active infections. Breaking down the weekend’s numbers further:Friday to Saturday: 317Saturday to Sunday: 293Sunday to Monday: 207Across the province, 77 people have been hospitalized from the virus, 26 of whom are in the ICU. While Interior Health (IH) said it has one person in the hospital with zero in the ICU.The Interior Health region has reported a total of 693 cases so far, while the province has amassed 13,371 total cases.As of Monday, October 26th, 80.3% of those infected have recovered, as 10,734 people are no longer infected.Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said three more people have died from COVID-19 since Friday. 259 deaths have been attributed to the virus so far.Statistics as of Monday: Death rate (deaths to recoveries): 2.4% (Province-wide), 0.3% (IH).Recovery rate (recoveries to total cases): 80.3% (Province-wide), 87.3% (IH).New RegulationsIn the wake of multiple record-breaking daily numbers reported in recent weeks, Dr. Henry has enacted tighter restrictions around private gatherings. However, much of the focus will be around the Fraser Health area, as a majority of new COVID-19 cases have been reported there.Henry said the recent spike in cases has been linked with parties or celebrations such as funerals, weddings, and Thanksgiving weekend.The new regulations limit gatherings in a private home to immediate family plus up to six others.“This is going to be a challenge, more so for some than others. This is something we need to do together, as a community, so we can get through the coming respiratory season,” said Henry. “Like other orders, there is the possibility of enabling enforcement, but my hope is that we will all pay attention, given what we are seeing B.C. right now, and enforcement won’t be needed.”According to Henry, larger families may be restricted further, with less than six additional guests allowed.“I understand that this restriction is the opposite of many of our cultural, religious and social expectations, but as we all know, this is not an ordinary year,” said Henry. “As a host, I ask you not to invite others to your gathering right now and not to take offence if people back out or not attend.”On top of the new Provincial Health order, Dr. Henry said non-medical masks are now expected when in public spaces, but are not mandatory.“It’s not an order, because I know this is something we support as part of our mutual responsibilities to protect ourselves and to protect each other,” said Henry.Henry is asking businesses to review their COVID-19 safety plans and mask policies and make any necessary adjustments.