New system for reporting B.C. COVID-19 in schools; 122 new cases provincewide - InfoNews

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New system for reporting B.C. COVID-19 in schools; 122 new cases provincewide

FILE PHOTO - B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19, Monday, August 10, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.
September 16, 2020 - 3:28 PM

There are 122 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., raising the provincewide total to 7,498 since the pandemic began.

Of those cases reported in a joint statement by the provincial health officer and the health minister today, Sept. 16, 1,614 are active and and 5,646 people who tested positive have recovered. The number of people who are at home, under active public health monitoring after being near someone with COVID-19 is 2,966.

Currently, 60 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, and 23 of them are in intensive care. 

Interior Health is reporting six more cases since yesterday, raising the total to 485. Twenty-three cases are active and in isolation and one person is in hospital. There have been 2,660 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 3,835 in the Fraser Health region, 195 in the Island Health region, 237 in the Northern Health region and 85 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths.

With school back in session, focus has turned to outbreaks in schools and today, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix said the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website will start offering updates on COVID-19 cases in schools.

"Beginning today, the (B.C. Centre for Disease Control) website will also link to regional health authorities' school notification pages, providing the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure) for impacted schools. Fraser Health's school notification page is available now and the other regional health authorities will have theirs ready soon," Dr. Henry and Dix said in a press release.

One of the biggest concerns with COVID-19 is the unidentified spread of the virus in B.C. communities. This is why getting tested as soon as you have symptoms is so important.

"With the knowledge of new cases or clusters, public health teams can quickly complete contact tracing, notify those who may be exposed and more importantly, contain the further spread," Dr. Henry and Dix said.

"It doesn't help to shame and blame those in our communities who have the virus, because it quite often discourages others from coming forward and getting tested, putting all of us at risk. Rather, we need to show compassion and care, not judgment, when there is a new case in our community."

Large gatherings have been a steady source of transmission. However, many of the new cases in the past weeks are from small gatherings where people see different groups of friends on different days - inadvertently spreading the virus to many people.

"Let's not forget that if we are close enough, doing enough and with enough different people, the likelihood of transmitting the virus significantly goes up," they said. "That is why it is so important to make our social interactions a 'small and safe six,' keeping to our immediate households and the same close friends only."

— This story was updated at 4:52 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 to correct the number of COVID-19 cases in the Interior Health region incorrectly reported by Interior Health and the Ministry of Health.

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