B.C. health officials reported 84 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Friday — the fourth-highest daily rise in cases since the pandemic began.
Island Health had no new cases as of Aug. 14, remaining a total of 150 cases since the start of the pandemic. There are three active cases in Island Health.
Of the new cases reported on Friday, two are epidemiologically linked, meaning people who were never tested but were presumed to have COVID-19 because they developed symptoms and were close contacts of a laboratory-confirmed case.
There have now been 4,358 COVID-19 cases reported in B.C. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,354 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 2,276 in the Fraser Health region, 150 in the Island Health region, 399 in the Interior Health region, 107 in the Northern Health region and 72 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
Currently, there are 629 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 3,533 people who tested positive have recovered. No new deaths were reported on Friday. The B.C. COVID-19 death toll remains at 196.
As of Friday, 12 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 (up three from Aug.13), four of whom are in intensive care (no change from Aug. 13).
And there are 2,026 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. This is an increase of 148 people being monitored compared to Thursday.
There is one new health-care facility outbreak in the Fraser Health region at Queen’s Park Care Centre.
In total, seven long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks. The outbreaks are at:
- Holy Family Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver Coastal Health
- Richmond Lions Manor long-term care facility in Vancouver Coastal Health
- Dania Home long-term care facility in Fraser Health
- Maple Ridge Seniors Village assisted-living facility in Fraser Health
- Derby Manor long-term care facility in Fraser Health
- George Derby Centre long-term care facility in Fraser Health
- New Vista Care Home long-term care facility in Fraser Health
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, the B.C. minister of health, released Friday’s numbers in a statement.
“This weekend, we urge everyone to stay strong and hold the line,” Henry and Dix said.
“We have it within our ability to make the changes we need to bend our pandemic curve back down and continue in our B.C. restart, but it takes the combined efforts of everyone, not just a few.”
Henry and Dix reminded people to keep a safe distance from people they don’t know or who are not in a close group of family and friends,
“And always stay home and stay away from others if you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild,” Dix and Henry said.
According to Henry and Dix, throughout the pandemic, regional health authorities have worked with municipalities, WorkSafe BC, and law enforcement to support and educate British Columbians about COVID-19 safety – in some cases establishing joint teams to visit shops, businesses, beaches and other public spaces to ensure we all follow public health guidance and direction.
“In the Vancouver Coastal Health region, ongoing surveillance and enforcement operations have resulted in the closure of several bars, restaurants and nightclubs following transmission events: some by public health order and others voluntarily,” Henry and Dix said.
“This weekend, let’s all do our part to bend the curve back down and use our influence to bring our family and friends on board if they have strayed.
“Remember that each new interaction outside your bubble holds a risk that you then bring back to your family and friends. In these circumstances, we must stand together, by staying apart.”
Henry said Thursday that people between the ages of 20 and 29 now make up the group seeing the largest increase of infections.
But she warned against demonizing all young people, adding that many are following public health guidelines.
Dix also called on those planning on hosting large events this weekend to expect a visit from bylaw officers to ensure the 50-person limits are being followed.
“I have to say this, if you’re thinking of organizing a party – especially one involving alcohol, where there’s no specific limits on distancing that you’re putting in place – you should not do so.”
British Columbia has seen a rise in cases over the past week, reporting 85 and 78 new cases on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
The provincial government announced on Wednesday that 500 health-care professionals would be hired to help public health officials in contact tracing efforts.
To see B.C.’s COVID-19 numbers by day and health authority, along with testing numbers and recoveries, visit the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard. The numbers are updated at 4:30 p.m. PT each weekday.
To see a list of public COVID-19 exposures in the province, including links to exposures listed on health authority websites, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website here.
According to researchers with Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now over 21 million, with over 761,000 deaths.
With files from The Canadian Press