COVID case numbers on the rise in B.C. this week

The Canadian Press

Case numbers rose steadily in B.C. this week, with health authorities recording a total of 106 new cases since July 5.

Last weekend saw case numbers staying low at under 10 per day. By Friday, new cases rose to 25, the highest number of recorded cases in the last two weeks. 

Minister for Health Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry did not address the rising number of cases in their joint written statement, instead reiterating the importance of personal safety measures.

“We know that the more layers of protection we use, the safer we will be. Let’s all ‘layer up’ by washing our hands regularly, using barriers, staying a safe distance from others and using a mask when that is challenging,” said Friday’s written statement.

The total number of test-positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. has now reached 3,053. There were ten new deaths reported this week, bringing the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the province to 187.

Dr. Henry and Dix also reported two new community exposure events at the Hotel Belmont bar and No. 5 Orange nightclub in Vancouver. Two people have tested positive in relation to the exposure events between June 27 and July 4. Dr. Henry and Dix said authorities are monitoring the situations, and they urge people to continue to limit their exposure to others.

“Fewer faces, bigger spaces is the safest approach, because we know crowded, closed spaces where people may be in close contact with each other are higher-risk environments for all of us and need to be avoided at this time,” said the pair.

They noted that contact tracing plays a big role in keeping case numbers down, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

Both Dr. Henry and Dix are hoping that British Columbians will continue to follow their guidance in all health matters, as the global rates continue to climb, showing how easy it could be for case numbers to surge.

“As we have seen in many other locations around the world, one slip can quickly cause a surge in new cases. We have also seen here in B.C. that our foundational rules for safe social interactions help to protect all of us.”

By Sophie Carrigan Gray, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Osoyoos Times

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