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16 virus cases to date in the northeast

There have been just 16 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in northeast B.C. since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, and just one case reported in the last two weeks.
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There have been just 16 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in northeast B.C. since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, and just one case reported in the last two weeks.

Data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows the region has the fewest reported cases of the disease, which can develop into a severe and fatal pneumonia, in the Northern Health region. 

As of July 23, there were 77 cases confirmed by laboratory testing in northern B.C. Twelve of those have been reported since July 16, after the region went more than a month without the virus being detected.

The northern interior, which includes Prince George, has reported 36 cases to date, and none in the last two weeks.

The northwest has recorded 25 cases to date — nearly half of those, 11, have been reported in the past 14 days.

The virus caseload in northeast B.C. is among the lowest in the province, second only to the Kootenay Boundary health delivery area, which has reported 14 cases since the pandemic began.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness, and fever. The disease is caused by a new respiratory virus first reported in China at the end of 2019.

According to Northern Health, travel and close-contact exposure have contributed to the recent spike in cases, though specifics on where they were discovered were not disclosed.

Spokesperson Eryn Collins says those who have tested positive are currently self-isolating at home as contact-tracing work continues.

“Close contacts of confirmed cases would be informed by public health officials, and supported in any actions they should take, such as self-monitoring or self-isolating,” she tells PrinceGeorgeMatters.

“And, as always - regardless of where cases are, everyone should be practicing the public health guidance and advice for preventing spread of the virus.”

She adds none of the new cases are linked to recent outbreaks in Kelowna, however, Dr. Henry said earlier that people in every B.C. health region are self-isolating as a precaution.

The BC Centre for Disease Control says, as of today, Northern Health has now tested 3.4 per cent of its population; that’s 9,710 out of 285,524 confirmed residents.

At Site C, there’s still one confirmed COVID-19 case, but this is not included in Northern Health’s numbers as the worker travelled from Alberta after testing positive in the neighbouring province.

— with files from Kyle Balzer in Prince George

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.