B.C. reports 269 cases of COVID-19 since Friday, 6 new cases in Island Health

B.C. reports 269 cases of COVID-19 since Friday, 6 new cases in Island Health
Province of BC
Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 on August 24, 2020.

B.C. has officially recorded more than 5,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, as 269 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the province over the last three days.

From Friday to Saturday, there were 109 new cases. From Saturday to Sunday, there were 81 new cases and from Sunday to Monday, there were 79 new cases.

Friday to Saturday was the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. The milestone was reached between Friday and Saturday, surpassing the 100 cases reported on Aug. 14.

Five of the new cases 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.

One new death was reported in long-term care in Fraser Health over the weekend. The COVID-19 death toll in B.C. is now 203.

There have now been a total of 5,184 cases in B.C. since the start of the pandemic.

Six new cases were reported in Island Health. The health authority has now had 166 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Data on the Island Health website shows since Aug. 20, there have been two new cases in northern Vancouver Island, two new cases in central Vancouver Island and three new cases in southern Vancouver Island. There are currently 13 active cases in Island Health.

Numbers from Island Health showing COVID-19 cases in the health authority on Aug. 24, 2020. (Island Health)

Numbers from Island Health showing COVID-19 cases in the health authority on Aug. 24, 2020. (Island Health)

“Despite the recent outbreaks and clusters that we have seen in the past week and the rising case numbers, we still have low undetected transmission in our province. We are able to find and connect most people who have this disease,” Henry said.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said public health staff in Island Health, along with other health authorities, continue to do contact tracing to find out where people are exposed.

“We’re still in the high 80s to 90 per cent of being able to find close contacts and being able to find and link cases here in B.C. That’s something we’re watching very carefully. Unlinked cases and rising numbers and percentages of unlinked cases are things that concern us.”

There have also been 1,651 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 2, 739 in Fraser Health 425 in Interior Health 127 in Northern Health and 76  among residents outside of Canada (visitors and temporary foreign workers).

A total of 4,068 people have recovered and there are 913 active cases. Eighteen people with COVID-19 are in hospital (five more than Aug. 21), with five in intensive care (no change from Aug. 21).

“As we live with COVID-19 in our communities our goals continue to be clear. We need to minimize our new cases,” Henry said.

There are no new community outbreaks. There is one new outbreak at a long-term care home in the Fraser Health. There are 10 active healthcare outbreaks: nine in long-term care and one in acute care.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the 269 new cases represent about 90 cases a day over the three-day period.

He said province has done 20,000 tests over the past five days — the most significant five-day stretch of testing since the start of the pandemic.

Dix said the key is not to point fingers or lay blame, but to continue adopting measures that work, including physically distancing and wearing face masks.

According to Henry, the province’s positivity rate remains “relatively low,” Henry says.

B.C. has ramped up testing to 4,000 to 5,000 tests a day.

Island Health’s COVID-19 data breaks down North, Central and South Island case counts and lists the number of days since any new lab-diagnosed cases. You can find the data here.

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. Currently under Island Health, there is one alert for a possible COVID-19 exposure, at Il Falcone Restaurant in downtown Courtenay. The restaurant is located at 536 6th Street in Courtenay.

Anyone who was at the restaurant on Aug. 16 between 3 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. is being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms.

“If you have been in one of these locations at times of possible exposure, it does not mean you will develop COVID-19. The possible exposures listed on this site are believed to be low riskbut, out of an abundance of caution, we ask that anyone who may have visited any of the locations listed on the specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms,” Island Health states under its website.

According to data released by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of global COVID-19 cases is more than 23.5 million, with more than 810,000 deaths.

Watch Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry on Aug. 24, 2020.

More to come

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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