One week after the B.C. Day long weekend, new cases of COVID-19 have predictably spiked up recently, but there have been no new deaths from COVID-1 for a week and a half.
Since Friday, there have been 131 new cases of COVID-19: 50 between Friday and Saturday, 37 between Saturday and Sunday and 44 since Sunday.
"Our number of new cases is climbing, and it's climbing to levels that we haven't seen in a number of months," said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix. "The number of people now in self-isolation is disturbing. Though some increase was expected, each of us knows our numbers are too high."
He urged people to stop going to private parties, as most of the new cases are related to large gatherings.
"We need to say 'enough' to private parties, where alcohol is being used and where physical distancing isn't possible," Dix said.
There have been two new outbreaks at long-term care homes – George Derby Centre and the New Vista Care Centre. That brings the number of long-term care homes with active cases – once whittled down to just three – to seven.
But there have been no deaths from COVID-19 for 10 consecutive days in B.C., and the number of people in hospital with the virus is down.
On a positive note, Henry said the province is having good success with contract tracing. Many of those who tested positive for the virus were notified because they were on a contract tracing list.
"The vast majority of the people who tested positive over the past three days were people who were on our contact list," Henry said. "That means that, as they developed their illness, they were isolated and they no longer exposed others, breaking those chains of transmission."
However, she added: "We need to do better collectively to stop these exposure events from happening."
With the resumption of school in the fall looming, Henry's office is under increasing pressure to require students to wear masks in class, when school resumes.
But Henry said it would be impractical to require students, especially younger children, to wear masks in class all day, and reiterated that it is the least effective of the measures that reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
"We know that there is a place for masks," she said. "They are the end of our hierarchy of controls...the least effective of the layers that we need."
While students will be allowed to wear masks if they choose to, it won't generally being a requirement in public schools.
Here are today’s COVID-19 numbers for Monday, August 10, with numbers from Friday, August 7 (the last reporting period) in brackets:
New cases: 131 (53)
Total: 4,065 (3,934)
Active cases: 445 (386)
Recovered: 3,425 (3,353)
Hospitalized: 9 (11)
Intensive care: 3 (4)
Deaths: 195 (195)
Confirmed cases by region:
Vancouver Coastal Health: 1,220
Fraser Health: 2,139
Island Health: 148
Interior Health: 391
Northern Health: 96