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30 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., more than 70 now linked to Kelowna

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Jul 21, 2020 at 5:46 pm PDT

FILE - Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Courtesy B.C. Government)
Summary

B.C. recorded 30 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, a day after a stern warning from the province's top doctor

No new deaths were recorded, with the last two being more than a week ago

Of 266 active cases in B.C., 15 people remain in hospital, including three in intensive care

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. recorded 30 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, a day after the province’s top doctor warned about the potential for an explosive increase if British Columbians aren’t more careful.

The Interior Health Authority has also confirmed more than 70 cases are now linked to the exposure event in Kelowna on the Canada Day long weekend, including six employees at one hospital.

“We aren’t reporting any additional Kelowna General Hospital employee cases today. Still six,” says a statement from Interior Health.

“As we have seen in many other places, a few missteps can quickly result in a significant resurgence in new cases of COVID-19,” says a release from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

“Here in B.C., our curve is trending upward, and we need to bend our curve back down to where it belongs.”

With the new cases, the total in B.C. is up to 3,328, with a recovery rate of 86 per cent. One of the new cases was epi-linked.

No new deaths were recorded. The last two were more than a week ago, on July 13.

Of 266 active cases in B.C., 15 people remain in hospital, including three in intensive care.

The province also reported no new care facility outbreaks, although three remain active. Several community exposure events and one active community outbreak also remain active.

 

“Many of the new cases are a result of community transmission from an increase in social interactions this summer. This trend is a concern, but we can turn this trend around,” health officials say.

“We can stop transmission by seeing fewer people, only spending time with people we know, keeping a safe distance from others and using a mask when that is difficult. Let’s continue to follow these rules for safe social interactions.”

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Health officials also advised people to keep track of who they are around and to stay home if ill.

“We also need to support contact tracing efforts by paying attention to where we go and who we see, and always, without exception, staying home if we are feeling at all unwell,” they add.

The recent community cases have meant that some restaurants, wineries and recreational facilities in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland have been notified of a potential exposure with some employees, or have had employees who are confirmed positive for COVID-19.

“We commend the businesses who have proactively notified the public and temporarily closed for additional cleaning. This is a clear example of how we can contain the risk when it is known, slow the spread and continue to operate safely,” say health officials.

COVID-19 cases by health region since the start of the pandemic: 1,043 in Vancouver Coastal; 1,731 in Fraser; 140 in Island; 291 in Interior; 69 in Northern; and 54 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.