ADRIAN Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, on Thursday announced 68 new cases, including four epi-linked case, of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), for a total of 5,372 cases in British Columbia.
Sadly, there was one new COVID-19-related death, and the total number of deaths now stands at 204 in the province.
There are 906 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 2,810 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 4,253 people who tested positive have recovered.
Currently, 22 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, seven of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,737 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 2,818 in the Fraser Health region, 173 in the Island Health region, 429 in the Interior Health region, 137 in the Northern Health region and 78 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, nine long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.
There is one new community outbreak with seven confirmed cases at the Teck Fording River water treatment plant construction site in the Interior Health region. Public health teams are supporting and undertaking contact tracing.
Alerts are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website, as well as on health authorities’ websites, providing details on where the potential exposure occurred and what actions to take – whether you need to self-isolate or monitor for symptoms.
Dix and Henry added: “Today, we have provided the latest local health area map of COVID-19 cases. The map will be updated each month and available on the BCCDC website. What the map tells us is that virtually every part of our province has been touched by the virus – communities large and small.
“Despite the spread of COVID-19, we must continue to find the balance of restarting our activities once again, while protecting our most vulnerable by doing our best to keep ourselves and those we care about safe.
“We recognize that many parents are feeling anxious about the well-being of their children with the start of ‘new school’ in September. We understand the importance of keeping our children safe.
“As parents take the time to review the back-to-school plans for their schools and districts, they can take confidence in knowing the plans were built from widespread input from B.C.’s education experts, combined with the latest public health research from around in the world.
“Children in B.C. will join millions of others globally who are going back to in-class learning. We will be there to support our children as they learn and adapt to the new school experience in British Columbia.
“Equally important, as children get back into the classroom, public health teams will be right there with them in every school throughout our province to ensure classrooms are as safe as possible for everyone.
“B.C. is reporting its first cases of suspect Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and Adolescents, or MIS-C. There have been eight such cases diagnosed by BC Children’s Hospital specialist pediatricians between March and August.
“To date, eight suspected cases have been reported at BC Children’s Hospital, although importantly, all have tested negative for COVID-19 and have had no known contact with reported cases. Since none of the cases were confirmed to be linked to a COVID-19 infection, we expect they are likely due to another cause.
“Monitoring for MIS-C was set up a few months ago. The eight cases were reported recently because the case definition for MIS-C recently changed to include suspected cases. There have been no confirmed cases of MIS-C reported in B.C.
“The identification of these suspect cases is evidence that the system can capture this condition if it occurs in B.C. children.
“COVID-19 requires new ways of living our lives, as well as new precautions and routines for ourselves and our families, whether at home, at work, at school or when spending time with others.
“What remains the same is our commitment to continuing to learn and adapt our approach, in addition to doing all we can to protect our communities, our seniors and Elders, and those we care for most.”