BC has 85 new cases of COVID-19 and one death in past 24 hours

85 new virus cases, 1 death

British Columbia saw its largest single day increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases since late April on Wednesday, with 85 new cases across the province. Just one of these new cases came from the Interior Health region.

The new cases, the third highest single day increase since the pandemic began, bring the province's total positive tests since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,196, but active cases are now at 531. Active cases in the province have grown rapidly in the past week, hitting a high that hasn't been seen since mid-May.

Despite the spike in cases, hospitalizations from COVID-19 have remained relatively stable, at eight. Five of these patients are being treated in intensive care.

For the first time since July 30, another British Columbian has died from COVID-19, bringing the total deaths to 196.

No new outbreaks of the virus were declared Wednesday, but the B.C. government warns there continues to be exposure events across the province. An exposure event was declared for the second time at Downtown Kelowna's Cactus Club on Tuesday.

There remains outbreaks at seven long-term seniors care homes and one acute care facility.

"The pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for our province. And today we are reporting the third highest number of new cases we have seen in a day since the pandemic began,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement.

“The majority of these cases are young people in the Lower Mainland and their exposures have been at events in the community. The cases we are seeing today reflect exposures from a week to 10 days ago. A significant number of cases are also linked to travel from out of province.”

Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday the province will be hiring an additional 500 contact tracers to try and contain the spread of the virus moving into the fall.

“We are watching the cases climb, which is concerning. We need everyone to recommit to using the skills we've learned," Dr. Henry said. "Keep gatherings small, have a designated 'contact keeper,' limit time with others, maintain physical distance and always stay home if you're feeling unwell.”

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