BC health officials confirmed a total of 20 new coronavirus cases in the province on Thursday, one of which they said is a teacher at a public school in the Fraser Health region.
These latest cases bring the total number of recorded cases in the province to 2,869, according to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who gave the update during an afternoon press conference,
She noted however, that despite the fact that one of the cases involves a teacher, no students have been exposed.
“This teacher was exposed through social interactions in their own circle, and [the case] has been linked to other known cases,” said Henry. “All of the close contacts of that person have been notified by public health teams.”
Asked how she could be sure that no students had been exposed, Henry responded that “we know, because this is what we do in public health: our case investigations try to link where people were exposed.”
As such, she said, “this [person] is a contact of a contact of a known case,” and the investigation “showed that there were no exposure events at the school.”
As for the rest of the recorded cases, Henry said that broken down by health regions in the province, this equates to 970 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,504 in Fraser Health, 131 on Vancouver Island, 199 in Interior Health, and 65 in Northern Health.
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She added that the total number of active cases currently sits at 179. Out of these, 15 people are in hospital, and seven of those are in ICU.
Henry said two additional deaths in connection with the virus have now also been recorded: one at a long-term care home in Fraser Health and one in a similar facility in Vancouver Coastal Health.
A total of 2,517 people are now considered to be fully recovered, as well.
The update comes on the same day that the BC government said that June return of students to the classroom has “set the stage” for September.
In a statement BC Education Minister Rob Fleming said what officials have learned from the restart “will be invaluable in planning to have even more students in class in September, if it is safe to do so.”
June’s restart saw almost 200,000 students return back to the classroom, the province said.
“We anticipated and planned for this potential when we returned to some in-class teaching over the last month,” Henry said of the case involving the teacher on Thursday. “We’ve been monitoring the situation very closely with all of the school districts and Ministry of Education, and we’ve moved quickly when cases have been identified.”