Six more people died from COVID-19 over the weekend and more than 300 new cases were diagnosed as the virus continues to surge upwards again in B.C.
Between Friday and Saturday, 137 people were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease, 119 from Saturday to Sunday and 61 from Sunday to Monday for a 72 hour total of 317 new cases.
Five of the six new deaths were among residents of long-term care homes. Four were recorded in Fraser Health, one was in Vancouver Coastal Helath and one was recorded in Northern Health — that health authority’s first death from COVID-19.
Across B.C. there are 1,594 active cases, and 58 people are in hospital, 16 of whom are in critical care.
In total, there have been 7,279 cases of the virus in B.C. since the pandemic began — 3,754 in Fraser Health, 2,557 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 473 in Interior Health (up eight from Friday), 216 in Northern Health, 195 on Vancouver Island and 84 among people who reside outside Canada.
Within IH there are 17 active cases of COVID-19, but no one is in hospital.
There are another 3,047 ppl being monitored for COVID-19 and 5,446 ppl have recovered since the start of the pandemic in B.C.
There are no new health care outbreaks from the weekend, but four declared overin the Lower Mainland, leaving 13 remaining active outbreaks. None are in IH.
No new community outbreaks were recorded in the last 72 hours but the outbreak at the the Okanagan Correctional Centre in which seven guards tested positive, has now been declared over.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said community exposure events continue to be seen around the province and stressed “COVID-19 has not left us” yet and asked people adjust their daily activities and reduce contacts to protect those people closets to them.
Henry said that while there has been some reported cases of outdoor transmission of the virus in B.C. those numbers are low and it’s difficult to breath in enough droplets to contract the virus, noting people have to be in very close contact.
She also noted that while the symptoms such as dry cough and runny eyes brought on by recent wildfire smoke concentration can mimic those of COVID-19, feelings of fever and chills will not and are a good way to tell the difference.
She stressed that if one is concerned the symptoms are from more than wildfire smoke they get tested for the virus.
B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix noted that 17,125 tests were done this past weekend for a test-positive rate of 1.85 per cent.
As for postponed surgeries, B.C. has reported that 11,249 (66 per cent) of the 17,154 patients who had their surgery postponed have now been completed.
Asked during Monday’s COVID-19 media briefing whether the meetings would continue if an early fall election were called in B.C., Henry said her responsibilities do not change if an election is called. Dix said that he feels the briefings are valuable and noted that if he were unavailable to participate, someone else would take his place as the information is more valuable than the person distributing it.