New case of COVID-19 reported on Haida Gwaii

One additional case of COVID-19 was reported in the Northern Health region on Monday, linked to the outbreak on Haida Gwaii.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the number of cases in the Northern Health region rose to 80 on Monday, up from 79 reported on Friday. There are now 14 cases linked to an outbreak on Haida Gwaii, she said.

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"It is another community member," Henry said "We're still trying to sort it out, but we believe it is linked to the other cases in Haida Gwaii."

The Haida Nation and Northern Health have been working to support the COVID-19 patients on the island, she said.

"We have been concerned from the very beginning about the impact on our rural and remote communities," she said. "The community is coming together and making sure those people get what they need."

Earlier this month, an Albertan working on the Site C hydroelectric dam tested positive for COVID-19, but no additional cases have been linked to that case, Henry said.

Throughout the province, 81 new cases were reported on Monday. The province's total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 3,500. There were 264 actives cases across the province, and 11 people were hospitalized with the disease – including three in intensive care. There were 12 active cases in the north as of Monday, according to data reported by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

None of the people hospitalized were in the Northern Health region, Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

Henry also reported two additional deaths over the weekend, both in long-term care facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. The province's death toll from the pandemic rose to 193, with no deaths linked to COVID-19 in the north.

On Monday, Henry also announced changes to her public health orders around rental accommodation, including houseboats. The number of people allowed to attend places like hotel rooms or rental homes is limited to the legal capacity of that room, home or boat, plus five, she said.

"It means you can't have a large party in your hotel room," she said. "We also added some clarity to the mass-gathering rules."

The updated rules clarify what constitutes a mass gathering, but the limit of 50 people remains in effect, she said.

Henry and Dix both urged British Columbians to continue to follow the public health guidance and do their best to prevent transmission of COVID-19 – especially with the B.C. Day long-weekend approaching.

"Eighty-one cases over three days is something we take seriously," Dix said. "The past few weeks... show what happens when we let our guard down."

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