The number of active cases of COVID 19 in the Northern Health region climbed to a new and troubling high on Wednesday when the count reached a record-setting 75, statistics from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control are showing.
The total was well above the previous record of 64, set only the day before, as 13 new cases were reported, offset by only two recoveries.
As well, the number of patients in intensive care due to the virus held steady at 11.
The count showed Northern Health has not been immune from a pandemic that has spiralled out of control as an all-time record of 762 new cases were reported for the province as a whole.
Ten more deaths were also record, the second-highest one-day total for B.C. None of them were in Northern Health, BCCDC numbers showed.
B.C., Premier John Horgan dropped some strong hints on November 18 that he believes provincial health officer Bonnie Henry will declare new health orders to rein in the spread of COVID-19 during her 3 p.m. address on Thursday.
"Dr. Henry will have more to say about gyms and other businesses tomorrow [November 19] as she finalizes the orders that she'll be bringing forward then," Horgan said near the end of his morning news conference.
Some of the language that Horgan used to describe travel restrictions was also significantly harsher than what currently exists in provincial health orders, perhaps indicating that travel restrictions will also soon tighten.
"When it comes to travel, non essential travel is prohibited in B.C.," Horgan said, despite Henry so far only issuing strong recommendations for people to not travel around the province.
Henry's only ban on travel in an official health order is one that bars anyone in the Vancouver Coastal Health or Fraser Health regions from travelling outside their home health region for the purpose of playing sports – with "sports" meaning team sports, not skiing.
- with files from Glacier Media