B.C. has recorded 34 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, and no additional deaths.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed to reporters Wednesday (July 22) that three of the new cases are epi-linked, which means the person did not test positive for the virus but displayed some symptoms after being in close contact with an infected person or work in a facility with a known outbreak.
This brings the total active confirmed cases to 205. Seventeen people are in hospital, three of those in critical care. B.C. has not recorded any deaths linked to the novel coronavirus for six days.
“The COVID-19 curve is trending in a way we do not want it to go, which is up,”
Seventy of the recent confirmed cases are linked to community exposures in Kelowna. Roughly 1,000 people are self-isolating at home, across the entire province, because they have been in contact with someone who has contracted the contagious respiratory illness.
British Columbians have been in Phase Three of the B.C. government’s reopening plan for nearly four weeks. Since COVID-19 touched down in the province B.C. has seen a total of 3,362 test-positive cases, with 21 of those considered epi-linked.
When asked what has led to the recent increase in cases, Henry said she believes reopening the province – such as restaurants, businesses and other public buildings – was done in a measured and thoughtful way.
But on Wednesday, Henry announced amendments to provincial health orders set for restaurants and nightclubs, including the shut down of dance floors and directives for businesses to clamp down on “table hopping” by patrons.
“We are not going to go back to things we had to do earlier this year, but in order to keep going forward, we need to go back to safe social interactions,” Henry said.
Meanwhile, contact tracers have been working dilligently to connect potentially linked cases to recent exposures throughout B.C.
She urged people to remember the basics: frequent hand washing, sticking to small group gatherings and being mindful of how easily the virus can spread.
“We’ve had people in groups that are larger than are manageable, and it’s put a strain on us in public health, being able to contact people quickly, and that has led to increased transmission chains.”
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