British Columbia

B.C. announces 85 new COVID-19 cases, 3rd highest single day jump since beginning of pandemic

A statement from the province said the majority of cases are linked to young people in the Lower Mainland, with exposure coming from "events in the community."

Province says most cases linked to young people in Lower Mainland

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on B.C.'s latest COVID-19 numbers. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

B.C. has announced 85 new cases of COVID-19 in the province — the third highest number of cases recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

There has been one additional COVID-19 death, bringing the total number of deaths in B.C. to 196. There are currently 531 active cases in the province — the highest since May 9.

A statement from the province said the majority of cases are linked to young people in the Lower Mainland, with exposure coming from "events in the community."

The statement said a significant number of cases are also linked to travel from outside the province. There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks and no new community outbreaks.

In the statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix called the climb in cases "concerning."

"We need everyone to recommit to using the skills we've learned. Keep gatherings small, have a designated 'contact keeper,' limit time with others, maintain physical distance and always stay home if you're feeling unwell," it read in part.

"We need to refocus on measures to flatten the curve of infection and protect British Columbians as we help our province recover." 

The statement said that contact tracing remains one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of the virus. On Wednesday the  province announced it would temporarily hire 500 more health-care professionals to work as contact tracers for COVID-19.

Good behaviour 'not consistent'

Premier John Horgan announced the new positions saying he's concerned about the rising number of cases among young people, particularly those connected to large parties.

"As we've seen over the past number of weeks, the good behaviour, the common sense of British Columbians is not consistent across the board," he said.

Horgan said he hopes B.C. can continue to enforce public health orders mainly through warnings but will escalate penalties for those who continue to flout the rules.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,273 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 2,203 in the Fraser Health region, 150 in the Island Health region, 394 in the Interior Health region, 104 in the Northern Health region and 72 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

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