No new COVID-19 cases reported in northern B.C.

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in northern B.C. on April 4, with the region's lab-confirmed case total still at 21.

Provincially, there are 29 new cases, which brings B.C.'s total to 1,203, and three new deaths, bringing the total to 38. Of the total cases, 704 people have recovered.

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There are 149 patients hospitalized, 68 of them in critical or intensive care. There have been no deaths reported in northern B.C., but four are in hospital.

More than 850 northern British Columbians have been tested for COVID-19, and there are cases in Northeast health service delivery area, according to Northern Health.

Acting chief medical health officer Dr. Raina Fumerton said Friday the majority of cases in northern B.C. will not be confirmed by testing. 

"It's important that people understand that and that northern B.C. residents should assume that COVID could be anywhere in our community and plan accordingly," Dr. Fumerton said.

Of the case numbers to date: "Those are from across the north, so in our large and small communities across the entire region," Dr. Fumerton said. "Many have been linked to travel but some have been acquired in the community."

Those who develop respiratory symptoms are urged to assume it's COVID-19 and self isolate for 10 days. An online self-assessment tool is available at bc.thrive.health.

"If, at the end of the 10-day period, they're feeling they're no longer febrile, they're feeling back they're back to their self, then they can remove themselves from self-isolation and we will not have laboratory data," Fumerton said.

The number tested represents just a scant proportion of the more than 46,000 who have been tested province-wide.

Fumerton said testing shifted away from travelers entering the province through the Lower Mainland after the system became overwhelmed, and now targets people at risk of being hospitalized or already in hospital, long-term care residents, health care workers, and those in an outbreak cluster.

READ MORE: Dr. Fumerton defends policy of not naming specific communities where a case has been confirmed.

— with a report from Mark Nielsen in Prince George

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

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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