Majority of new COVID-19 cases in BC "directly linked" to previously-known cases: Henry

Dec 23 2020, 4:49 pm

While the number of daily COVID-19 cases in BC has dipped slightly, the province still continues to grapple with caseloads in the hundreds.

And when it comes to the source of these new cases, BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said most continue to be “directly linked” to a previously-known case, cluster, or outbreak.

“We understand where the vast majority of people have been exposed and the vast majority of those exposures are linked to cases that we know of,” said Henry during a press conference on Wednesday.

This, she said, means that health officials “have not lost the ability” to do contact tracing and to identify outbreaks “as early as possible.”

Her comments come as the province reported 518 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing BC’s recorded total to 48,027.

Henry said that by specific health region, this equates to 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 332 in the Fraser Health region, nine in the Island Health region, 49 in the Interior Health region, and 31 in the Northern Health region.

There are 9,137 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 348 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 80 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Currently, 9,689 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and there have been 19 new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 796 deaths in British Columbia.

A total of 36,952 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have now recovered.

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