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B.C. conducts record 10,899 COVID-19 tests in a day; identifies 82 new cases

Hospitalizations decline by three from the highest level since May 8
B.C. provincial health officer Bonnie Henry regularly gives updates on COVID-19 in the province | B.C. government

Despite a record number of COVID-19 tests conducted during a 24-hour period, 10,899, B.C. recorded a relatively modest 82 new cases on October 1, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry told media. That translates into a positive-case percentage of about 0.75% – far lower than the more than 2% positivity rate that the province was recently recording. 

"Our percent positive [rate] is staying very low," Henry said. "Today, it was less than 1% of the tests were positive. So that tells us that we're doing a good job at finding people and that this is a true levelling off of our cases."

Henry said that when a positive case arises, health officials act "within 24 hours." Negative test results are sometimes not provided to people for four days, she confirmed.

"We have had some challenges in some parts of the province in getting the negative test results out in a timely way," she said. "It has waxed and waned depending on the system. This is really becuase we have several different lab platforms – the types of the machines – in different parts of the province, as well as several different lab networks. LifeLabs, as you know, is a private lab network, and the IT systems sometimes have a challenge talking to each other."

Most days in the past month have had higher daily tallies for new cases, with many of those days over the 100-case threshold. Other good news is that the number of hospitalizations in the province has dipped by three, from a 20-week high of 72 cases yesterday, to 69. Of those, 19 people are in intensive care units – two fewer than yesterday.

One person has newly died from the virus, bringing the province's death toll from COVID-19 to 235. 

The decline in new cases helped the number of people actively fighting the infection fall to the lowest level since September 4: 1,261. The vast majority of those people are self-isolating at home. 

Of the 9,220 people infected with the disease since the virus was first detected in B.C. on January 28, there are 7,695 who have recovered. Contact tracing has helped the province identify people at risk of contracting COVID-19, and 3,093 people are being monitored by health officials because of known contact with identified cases. 

Here is a breakdown of all known infections in B.C. by health region:
•  3,360 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up 20);
•  4,712 in Fraser Health (up 54);
•  209 in Island Health (up one);
•  535 in Interior Health (up two);
•  317 in Northern Health (up five); and
•  87 people who reside outside Canada (no change).

There was one new outbreak at a seniors' living facility: the George Derby Centre in Burnaby. 

There are 14 other outbreaks at seniors' long-term care or assisted-living facilities:
• Haro Park Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Point Grey Private Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Yaletown House long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Harrison West at Elim Village in Surrey;
• Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Cherington Place long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Evergreen Hamlets long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Thornebridge Gardens in New Westminster;
• KinVillage assisted living facility in Tsawwassen;
• Milieu Children and Family Services Society community-living facility in Courtenay;
• New Vista Care Home long-term care facility in Burnaby; and
• Rideau Retirement Centre independent living facility in Burnaby.

Those homes have been responsible for 860 of B.C.'s total number of COVID-19 infections, or about 9.3%. That includes 513 residents and 347 staff being infected.

The three active outbreaks at B.C. hospitals are all in the Lower Mainland: 
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Delta Hospital in Delta; and
• Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock.

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