B.C. announces 139 new cases of COVID-19, 3 more deaths
A health care worker is seen outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday, March 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
VICTORIA -- Three more people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., and 139 new cases have been discovered, health officials announced Friday.
The update brings B.C.’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 7,842 since the pandemic began. Health officials note that 40 “historic cases” have been added to B.C.’s total in addition to today’s 139 new cases.
The historic cases discovered between Aug. 11 and Sept. 16 were only added to the province’s total today because the people who tested positive for the virus did not have personal health numbers. The cases have since been investigated and managed by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Friday’s announcement brought B.C.’s death toll from the virus to 223.
“We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a written joint statement.
There are currently 1,803 active cases of the virus across the province, including 59 people who are in hospital for treatment, 20 of whom require intensive care.
Meanwhile, a total of 3,075 people are under public health monitoring due to exposure to known COVID-19 cases.
No new health-care or community outbreaks have appeared in B.C. since Thursday, say health officials.
However, 15 outbreaks in the health-care system continue to be active. Ten of the outbreaks are at long-term or assisted living facilities while five are located in acute-care facilities.
Though no community outbreaks were announced, health officials are encouraging British Columbians to check the BCCDC website or their local health authority webpage to see if any exposure events have occurred in their community.
Alerts for exposures at schools will be posted on the BCCDC website and anyone who may have been affected by the exposures will be contacted through the contact tracing staff.
“Schools will continue to issue alerts when a school exposure has occurred and action is required,” said Dix and Henry.
Health officials urge British Columbians to limit their social bubbles to six people as cases continue to surge across the province.
“The cases we are seeing today are a direct result of how we spent our Labour Day long weekend,” said Henry and Dix. “Let’s break the chain of transmission and turn this trend around.”
The pair note that it can take up to two weeks for COVID-19 symptoms to develop and that during this time the virus can spread to close contacts.
“No one intends to pass the virus onto friends or family, but it is very easy to do,” said B.C.’s top doctor and health minister.
Most COVID-19 cases have been located in the province’s Lower Mainland, with 2,817 discovered in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 4,007 confirmed in the Fraser Health region since the pandemic began.
Elsewhere in the province, the Interior Health region has reported 492 cases while the Northern Health region has confirmed 244.
No new cases were found in the Island Health region since Thursday, leaving the health authority’s total number of cases at 196.
Health officials say that 86 people who reside outside of Canada have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C.
Since Thursday, 78 more people have recovered from the virus in British Columbia, bringing the province’s total number of recoveries to 5,797.