B.C. recorded 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, heading into a long weekend with public health officials renewing their warnings to stay safe as summer activities and rising coronavirus infections continue.
Case numbers have climbed in recent days, with the total for July 31 topping the 41 new cases reported July 29. There has been a cluster in the Okanagan after a series of infection events related to parties around Kelowna. Interior Health is keeping a list of potential exposure sites, including resorts, a spin studio, restaurants and bars identified this month.
No new community public exposures were reported Friday, with monitoring and contact tracing continuing for active outbreaks previously identified on Haida Gwaii and at Fraser Valley Packers, a berry processing facility near Abbotsford.
Fraser Health, the region with the most B.C. cases since the pandemic began, had no reported community exposure sites as of Friday. Island Health has no current community warnings, and Northern Health has recorded no community outbreaks since the pandemic began early this year.
Vancouver Coastal Health has current public exposure warnings for Vancouver, Sandman Suites on Davie Street July 7 to 16, and the No5 Orange strip club on Main, July 1, 3, 4 and 7.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has an updated list of cases reported and possible exposures during flights to and within B.C. As of Friday it listed 17 domestic flights and 17 international flights, mostly to Vancouver from cities including Dallas, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Seoul, Korea, and two outbound flights to Seattle and Hong Kong.
One new health care outbreak has been reported, at Dania Home, a nursing home and assisted living residence in Burnaby. The only other one with ongoing outbreak protocol is at Holy Family Hospital, a long-term care facility in Vancouver.
Yukon’s government also issued an alert Friday for possible exposures in Whitehorse and Dawson City. Yukon’s chief medical officer was notified Thursday evening of two people who tested positive after returning from visits July 20 to 22.
“We can make this B.C. Day holiday weekend one where we find the right balance,” Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a statement. “Having those important social connections with our friends and family, while taking precautions to protect ourselves and those around us. Let’s socialize safely by keeping our groups small, using the layers of protection and giving everyone enough space to stay safe, whether at a backyard barbecue, on a friend’s boat or enjoying a nearby park.”