British Columbia

B.C. warns COVID-19 'silently circulating' in broader community, as health officials announce 21 new cases

"As we spend more time with others, we need to find our balance with COVID-19. We need to minimize the number of cases, manage new cases as they emerge and modify our activities accordingly."

Wednesday's update means province has detected 3,149 cases and 189 British Columbians have died

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provided updated case numbers in a written statement Wednesday. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said they were "concerned" about the recent growth in COVID-19 case numbers, as they provided an update on B.C.'s caseload Wednesday.

In a written statement, the health officials reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths related to the disease. 

It follows the announcement Monday of 62 new cases over the weekend and 13 new cases Tuesday.

Henry and Dix say community transmission is becoming a problem in the province and urged people to obey advice to keep the spread of the coronavirus in check.

"We are concerned about the increase in new cases in recent days, as COVID-19 continues to silently circulate in our communities," they said in their statement. "While early on, many of our long-term care and assisted living facilities were impacted, most of the new cases are in the broader community.

"As we spend more time with others, we need to find our balance with COVID-19. We need to minimize the number of cases, manage new cases as they emerge and modify our activities accordingly."

With Wednesday's case numbers included, the province has had a total of 3,149 novel coronavirus cases to date and 189 deaths have been connected to COVID-19, while 2,753 people have recovered.

Two of Wednesday's cases were epidemiologically linked cases, meaning they were never tested but are presumed to have the disease as they are showing symptoms and were in close contact with someone who tested positive for the disease.

No new outbreaks

The province also put the number of known cases that are still active at 207.

Fourteen people are in hospital, including five in intensive care. The rest are recovering at home in self-isolation, the officials said.

No new outbreaks were reported in either health-care settings or the community Wednesday. That leaves B.C. with two long-term care or assisted-living facilities with active outbreaks — at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver and Langley Memorials' Maple Hill facility — and one acute-care setting with an active outbreak, Mission Memorial Hospital.

There remains one active outbreak in the community, the statement said, "in addition to several community exposure events." The community outbreak is at Krazy Cherry Fruit Company in Oliver.

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