British Columbia has 28 new cases of COVID-19, health officials announced Friday, bringing the provincial total to 3,198 cases since the pandemic began.
The announcement confirms a steady rise in new cases over the past week as eight of the last nine days have seen at least 20 new cases of the virus announced daily.
There are currently 207 active cases of the virus in B.C., with 18 people in hospital, including two in intensive care.
There were no new deaths reported Friday, leaving B.C.'s coronavirus death toll at 189.
One of the new cases announced Friday was discovered in a worker from Alberta at BC Hydro's Site C dam project in northern B.C.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed a new outbreak at the St. Paul's Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) Friday, where one baby has been confirmed to have tested positive.
"There has been families, including some of the babies, who have been exposed, and there's also health-care workers who have been exposed," Henry said. "There's no infant in the NICU at St. Paul's right now who has severe illness or worrisome illness at all."
Henry said the unit remains fully operational and a backup NICU has been set up at the hospital.
"Contact tracing is ongoing to understand how the virus was introduced into people in the NICU and Vancouver Coastal Health is investigating," Henry said.
"There are a number of families and staff who have been contacts who are now isolated and the families involved – everybody involved – are being monitored right now."
There are now three active outbreaks in health-care facilities, including one in a long-term care centre, one in a Mission hospital and the one at St. Paul's Hospital.
In total, 401 residents and 255 staff have been affected by health-care outbreaks since the pandemic began.
In the Kelowna area, health officials have found 35 positive cases related to Canada Day weekend events.
"This is one of the more concerning issues to us," Henry said. "We recognize that there have been a number of events that have happened there and we need people to start thinking about how we can socialize safely over the coming weeks."
The provincial health officer said she anticipates more cases related to these events to crop up in the coming days.
"People may not recognize that they are ill or that they have mild symptoms but they can still spread the virus to others," she said. "Make sure that we don’t let COVID steal our summer."
Henry said there are now four COVID-19 cases connected to an outbreak at the Krazy Cherry Fruit Co. farm in Oliver, B.C.
In the Vancouver Island region, the case count remains at 136 positive tests since the pandemic began.
Elsewhere in B.C., there have been 1,032 cases found in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 1,676 found in the Fraser Health region.
The Interior Health region has recorded 235 cases, while Northern Health has recorded 68 cases.
Another 51 confirmed cases in the province have been found among people who reside outside Canada.
A total of 2,802 people in B.C. are now considered fully recovered from the virus.