B.C. announces 83 new cases of COVID-19, no additional deaths
Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson provides an update on COVID-19 on August 17, 2020: (Province of B.C. / Flickr)
VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials announced 83 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the province’s total number of cases to 4,677 since the pandemic began.
Of those cases, 775 are currently active across the province, including six people who are in hospital for treatment, three of whom require intensive care.
Meanwhile, 2,326 people are now under public health monitoring due to exposure to known COVID-19 cases.
No deaths related to the virus were seen in B.C. over the past 24 hours, leaving the province’s death toll at 198.
“We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement Tuesday.
No new outbreaks have been seen in the province’s health-care system, though 10 active health-care outbreaks are ongoing.
Nine of the outbreaks are located in long-term or assisted-living facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and Fraser Health region, while one is active at an acute-care facility.
Similarly, no new community outbreaks were announced Tuesday, though multiple community exposure events are ongoing.
Health officials are encouraging British Columbians to check the BC Centre for Disease Control website regularly to see if they may have been at any potential exposure events.
Anyone who was at an exposure event is asked to monitor for symptoms and call public health services if they feel ill at all. Anyone who feels even slightly sick is asked to stay at home amid the pandemic.
“Hundreds of people are now self-isolating and under care, and we can support them to do that well,” said Gustafson and Dix.
“Because the virus can spread with very mild symptoms, it is essential that anyone advised to self-isolate stays home, and stays away from others, for the full 14-day period.”
Most COVID-19 cases have been found in the province’s Lower Mainland, with the Fraser Health region reporting 2,473 cases and the Vancouver Coastal Health region confirming 1,447 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Island Health region has seen a total of 156 COVID-19 cases, an increase of two from Monday.
Elsewhere in the province, the Interior Health region has reported 407 cases while the Northern Health region has reported 120.
Seventy-four people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C. reside outside of Canada.
As the majority of the recent COVID-19 cases have been found in younger British Columbians, health officials are asking that all residents continue to follow provincial health measures to help protect those who are vulnerable to the coronavirus, like seniors and people with underlying health conditions.
“Seeing friends may seem safe, but if you are in close contact with an elderly family member, your visit may inadvertently put them at risk,” said Dix and Gustafson.
Everyone is asked to continue to practice physical distancing, keep social circles small and consistent and regularly wash your hands.
Since the pandemic began, 3,704 people have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C.