British Columbia

Health officials warn community transmission affects schools, as B.C. records 46 new cases

With the start of the school year weeks away, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are emphasizing the importance of keeping community transmission as low as possible.

Province's total number of cases now stands at 4,111

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix reminded British Columbians Tuesday high numbers of COVID-19 in the community can lead to transmission of the virus in schools. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

With the start of the school year weeks away, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are emphasizing the importance of keeping community transmission as low as possible.

The pair reinforced that message in a written statement Tuesday as they announced 46 new cases of the novel coronavirus within the last 24 hours but no new deaths.

"As we look to fall, what we've learned from other jurisdictions is that transmission in a school setting is a reflection of what's happening in our communities; keeping our community transmission low and slow keeps us all safe," they wrote. 

"And behind the scenes, public health is using contact tracing to mitigate the new growth in cases. Every case is followed up and linked.

"People who are at risk from exposure to known cases are supported to self-isolate, reducing further community exposure. That is working. The number of people we see self-isolating from the past few days reflects the work that public-health teams are doing tracing people around the province to prevent the spread and stop outbreaks."

The new cases bring B.C.'s total number to 4,111. There are 472 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. So far, 195 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C.

There have been no new community outbreaks, and no new health-care facility outbreaks in the region. An outbreak at the Krazy Cherry Fruit company in the Interior Health region has been declared over. 

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,232 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 2,167 in the Fraser Health region, 148 in the Island Health region, 393 in the Interior Health region, 100 in the Northern Health region.

On Tuesday B.C. announced it would be shifting to phased-in school restart with teachers returning to class before students to sort out logistics around the provincial guidelines.

Vancouver Coastal Health has issued a warning of new COVID-19 exposures at a downtown Foot Locker and added new dates to previous notifications about bars and restaurants in the city. The possible exposures are believed to be low risk, but it asks those who may have visited the store during that time to monitor for symptoms for 14 days and get tested if they are feeling ill.

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