68 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.; focus turned to more testing | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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68 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.; focus turned to more testing

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Government of B.C.
August 19, 2020 - 3:54 PM

Another 68 cases have been added to B.C.'s COVID-19 count overnight, amounting to a total of 4,745 since the start of the pandemic.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Réka Gustafson, B.C.'s deputy provincial health officer, issued a joint statement today, Aug. 19, pointing out that testing is an important part of our provincial pandemic response and the province is currently able to complete approximately 8,000 tests every day.

"Testing allows us to trace and contain the spread. The tests tell us who is positive for the virus, as well as how far the virus may have spread among close contacts when an outbreak or community cluster occurs," Gustafson and Dix said.

"We know as the number of new cases increases, demand for testing also goes up. That is why each health region has been working to add further assessment and testing capacity. New assessment and testing centres and extended hours of service have been added in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions to address increases in demand."

Anyone with symptoms can be tested, but the test is recommended only if symptoms are present.

"If you do develop symptoms, no matter how mild, your first step is to distance yourself from others and contact 811 or your health-care provider to arrange for an assessment," they said.

Those who are younger are less likely to face severe illness, so it is easy to inadvertently pass the virus on to someone who may be only a few years older, but much more vulnerable."

There are 798 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 2,452 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 3,749 people who tested positive have recovered.

Currently, 10 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, and four are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,488 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 2,493 in the Fraser Health region, 158 in the Island Health region, 411 in the Interior Health region, 120 in the Northern Health region and 75 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 198 deaths in British Columbia. 

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks and no new community outbreaks. However, community exposure events continue.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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