There have been 12 new coronavirus cases reported in northeast B.C. in the last week.
Dr. Bonnie Henry announced two new coronavirus cases in the Northern Health region on Thursday, bringing the total to date to 106. Thirteen of the new cases have been reported since the start of this week. Sixteen cases are active, and 90 have recovered.
There have been six new cases reported in northwest B.C., and none in the northern interior, including Prince George, for the period July 31 to Aug. 13.
There are now 4,274 cases in B.C., 578 of them considered active — the highest number since May 8. There are 1,878 people in self-isolation and being monitored by public health across the province, Dr. Henry said.
No new deaths were reported, remaining at 196. Nine are in hospital, four of them in intensive care.
There is speculation and reports on social media that there are new cases in Fort St. John that may have affected a daycare as well as a birthday party. Alaska Highway News has not yet been able to independently verify the claims.
Confirmation via friend of a friend that the new northern BC cases are in Fort St John.— Christine B (@SHDChristineB) August 13, 2020
Someone attending a birthday party had just returned from out of town and now everyone from the party is isolating.
Northern Health has not listed any new community outbreaks and public exposures on its website. Haida Gwaii remains under a community outbreak alert, and Northern Health has said the new cases that have been reported in the region aren't linked to that outbreak.
There are no patients in hospital, and there have been zero deaths linked to the virus in the region to date. There have been 11,625 tests to date.
A spokesperson said the health authority said Wednesday that it does not confirm details of individual rumoured, suspected, or lab-confirmed cases unless there is a broader public health concern.
"I can reassure that contact tracing work is being completed for all of the recently-identified cases in the NH region. And, at this point, all of the active cases in the north are self-isolating at home," said spokesperson Eryn Collins.
"Contact tracing puts a high priority on maintaining the privacy of individuals and their close contacts; we want people to feel comfortable coming forward if they have symptoms of COVID and require testing, as well as identifying their close contacts. That said, if there were a public health concern such as a potential public exposure, or an outbreak, more information would absolutely be forthcoming… neither is the case with the latest NH cases."
The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a new respiratory virus first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019.
It causes a disease that has been named COVID-19. Its most common symptoms are dry cough, tiredness, and fever, but it can also develop into a severe and sometimes fatal pneumonia. Scientific research continues for an effective treatment and vaccine.
In today's briefing, officials shared the latest modelling and projections for the virus, and said the recent spike in B.C. is due to younger people testing positive.
Dr. Henry also reported a new community outbreak at the Okanagan Correctional Centre. That centre earlier this year had an outbreak that had been declared over.
— with files from Jess Fedigan in Prince George, and and Glen Korstrom in Vancouver
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Reader's note: Updates with latest geographic distribution case counts from the BC Centre for Disease Control; corrects typo to note that there have been no new cases reported in the northern interior for the period July 31 to Aug. 13.]