Northern Health appears to be back on the slight upward trend of COVID-19 cases.
Over the last 72 hours since her last update on Friday (July 17), Dr. Bonnie Henry has reported one new positive test for the virus in northern B.C., eclipsing a new mark to 69 cases in the region.
This comes after three new ones were reported on Friday for the region, which ended a 37-day COVID-free streak.
However, the Provincial Health Officer updated B.C.'s grand total to 3,300 this afternoon (July 20) following 102 new confirmed cases over the weekend.
This includes 253 active cases, 16 of which are in hospital, four are in acute care and 2,858 recoveries, which equates to 87 per cent of the total.
“We have not had a hundred cases in a single time period (before),” Dr. Henry said at her daily briefing. “This is worrying to us.”
"We are starting to see an upward bend of our curve. What this shows is that we do have a possibility of having explosive growth in our outbreak here in B.C. if we're not careful in how we progress over the summer."
Fortunately, nobody succumbed to COVID-19 in the past three days as the death toll remains at 189.
Many of the new cases are among people in their 20s and 30s, and are related to social events and parties in the Kelowna area.
Most worrisome, said Dr. Henry, is the fact that in some cases, those who tested positive would have had contact with a relatively large number of people.
Henry sketched out some findings of a recent epidemiological study that shows the fatality rate in B.C. is quite high -- 2.6 per cent.
That is no doubt related to the fact that the virus was most concentrated initially in long-term care homes.
One in five people in long-term care homes have died from the virus, Dr. Henry added, and alerts have been issued for anyone who has flown recently in or out of Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna.
She said anyone who has flown recently in or out of B.C. should check the BC Centre for Disease Control for bulletins.
"It's very challenging for our teams in public health to find all the contacts in a timely way," said Dr. Henry in addressing the settings of the latest confirmed virus contractions, noting it's important to think about how residents are currently interacting with others at this point of the pandemic.
"It reminds us this virus continues to circulate, and as we are moving, we are bringing it with us."
In her epidemiological report, she also showed an update from those who've taken the BC Centre for Disease Control survey in evaluating the province's response to COVID-19.
Close to 15,500 people in Northern Health took part, which represented four per cent of the survey's overall participation at 394,382, or one in 10 people living in B.C.
- with files from Nelson Bennett, Business In Vancouver