B.C. announces 146 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, no new deaths
Dr. Henry also took the opportunity to further discuss B.C.'s return-to-school plans
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 146 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since Friday during her update on the coronavirus pandemic.
In total, B.C. has detected 3,787 cases of COVID-19.
As of Tuesday, there are 319 active cases in B.C. Eight people are in hospital, four in intensive care.
There have been no new deaths in the province since Friday. In total, 195 British Columbians have died from the disease, while 3,273 have recovered.
"This was not unexpected," said Henry of the large number of new cases.
The sources of the new cases are varied, she noted, but share commonalities. Many exposures took place indoors and via the presence of crowds where there was close talking, sharing food, and contact.
Parties and gatherings around Canada Day have been blamed in part for the recent increase in case numbers, particularly in the B.C. Interior.
Health Minister Adrian Dix urged British Columbians not to attend private parties.
"As we know, the past month has been a more difficult month for us in terms of cases."
Henry took the opportunity to allay anxieties about B.C.'s return-to-school plans.
As it stands, most B.C. students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will return to class full time in September. Children will be organized into "learning groups" up to a maximum of 120 students to reduce the number of people they come in contact with.
"We all have anxieties. We're learning as we go with this virus," said Henry.
"We need to live with those anxieties. We need to talk through them. We need to remind ourselves the things we know."
Henry said the return to school is an extremely important goal for the province, saying there are things that children can only get in in-class settings.
"School is such an important environment for our children. We know that some children will fall behind and never catch up and this will affect them for the rest of their lives," she said.
"It is that important."
Henry said B.C. will not follow Alberta in making masks mandatory for teachers, staff and students from grades 4 to 12.
She said while masks may have some benefits for adult staff members, there is currently "no intention" to make masks mandatory for children in the classroom setting.
With files from Liam Britten