B.C. health officials are reporting 62 new cases of COVID-19 in the province over the last 72 hours.
In the first 24-hour reporting period from July 10 to July 11, there were 21 new cases. From July 11 to July 12, there were 20 new cases and in the last 24 hours, there have been 21 new cases.
None of the new cases are in Island Health, which has had 135 cases since the pandemic began.
There have now been a total of 3,115 cases in British Columbia. Of those, there have been 1,012 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,643 in the Fraser Health region, 135 in the Island Health region, 209 in the Interior Health region, 65 in the Northern Health region and 51 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There are 208 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,718 people who tested positive have recovered.
Of the total COVID-19 cases, 14 individuals are hospitalized, five of whom are in intensive care.
There have also been two new COVID-19 related deaths in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, for a total of 189 deaths in British Columbia.
There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. Two long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility continue to have active outbreaks.
However, there is one new isolation order and community exposure events are continuing to occur, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Interior Health has issued an isolation order for Krazy Cherry Fruit Co. in Oliver due to two positive COVID-19 cases associated with this farm.
Interior Health has also issued alerts for community exposure events in the Kelowna downtown and waterfront area between June 25 and July 9.
Anyone who was at the Discovery Bay Resort from July 1 to 5 and Boyce Gyro Beach Lodge on July 1 is directed to self-isolate. Anyone who was at Cactus Club on Water Street from July 3 to 6 and Pace Spin Studio on July 2, 4, 5, 7 to 9 is asked to monitor themselves and contact public health immediately to arrange to get tested should symptoms develop.
“Now is the time to pay attention to how we are feeling and what we are doing, to keep ourselves and those around us safe,” Dix and Henry said in Monday’s written statement on the COVID-19 numbers.
“Until a vaccine or effective treatment is available, our focus is to keep new cases low and slow. And to do this, all of us need to do our part, to show kindness and patience with those around us and take precautions to protect each other.
Dix said earlier Monday that the several COVID-19 exposures in the city of Kelowna serve as a reminder of the risks posed by private gatherings.
Dix said during a news conference Monday that warnings of possible exposures at a restaurant, spin studio, bed and breakfast and resort are believed to stem from “private parties” at the hotels.
An email from Interior Health says eight positive tests for the virus are linked to visits to downtown Kelowna and the city’s waterfront between June 25 and July 9.
“When people come together for private parties, in this case it was primarily people in their 20s and 30s, the risks are considerably higher,” Dix said.
The cases involved people who live in three regions of the province, including the Interior, Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, he said.
The exposures follow the move to a new phase of reopening in B.C. that allows for tourism within the province. Although the accommodation industry was not ordered to close during the pandemic, many operators did so voluntarily but began welcoming guests again as part of the new phase.
Dix said the tourism industry has done a good job of creating safe environments for guests, but it’s also up to those guests to ensure they respect physical distancing guidelines and group size limitations.
“Whether it’s a trip or a party at home, the same risks and the same rules apply,” Dix said.
“We have got to live with COVID-19 for the next year so that means the responsibility is on all of us to understand the risks and understand our responsibilities to one another.”
Public health contact tracing is underway and Interior Health says it is reaching out directly to anyone who has been exposed, where possible.
Testing is recommended for anyone with novel coronavirus symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or a loss of taste or smell, says the statement from Interior Health.
“Milder symptoms may include runny nose, fatigue, body aches … diarrhea, headache, sore throat, vomiting and red eyes,” says the statement.
Anyone with even mild symptoms is urged to stay home and avoid travel.
Efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 include physical distancing, washing hands regularly, not touching the face and avoiding gatherings of more than 50 people, the health authority says.
And passengers on board an Air Canada flight from Kelowna to Vancouver last week are being warned they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
The BC Centre for Disease Control is asking passengers on board flight AC 8421 on July 6 to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of travel.
They are also being asked to self-monitor for symptoms of the coronavirus.
Passengers on AC 311 from Montreal to Vancouver on July 8 are also asked to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days due to possible COVID-19 exposure.
The flight is the latest on a list posted on the centre’s website of those beginning or ending in B.C. where it has learned there was a case of COVID-19 on board.
To see B.C.’s COVID-19 cases by date, as well as testing numbers, visit the BC COVID-19 dashboard.
According to researchers with Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is more than 13 million, with more than 570,000 deaths.
With files from The Canadian Press