People wearing protective face masks walk past artwork of women wearing masks, on the side of a building in Vancouver, on Sunday, May 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Twenty-one British Columbians have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, health officials have confirmed.

In a joint-statement released Wednesday afternoon (July 15), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that two of the new test-positive cases are epi-linked, which means the person did not test positive for the virus but displayed some symptoms after being in close contact with an infected person or work in a facility with a known outbreak.

This brings the total number of active confirmed infections to 207. Fourteen people remain in hospital, five of those in intensive care. No new deaths have been reported since Monday, leaving the total at 189 fatalities.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm likely linked to Kelowna outbreak, says Interior Health

Most of the new cases in the past several days – which fall within the incubation period correlating to the start of Phase Three in B.C.’s reopening plan – have been linked to exposures within the broader community. That’s compared to the beginning of the pandemic, when much of the cases were linked to health-care facility outbreaks.

On Tuesday, Henry said that while it is somewhat expected that daily case totals increase as people venture into public spaces more frequently, she is concerned with how many new cases are being recorded as the virus “silently circulates.”

Similar messaging was reiterated Wednesday.

“No one wants to get sick with COVID-19, nor do we want to inadvertently pass it onto others. While the symptoms can be mild, it is a complex illness that has serious consequences,” the statement reads.

“Let’s enjoy the summer safely and continue to do all we can to protect our neighbours, our friends and our loved ones.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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