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Eleven new COVID-19 cases reported in northern B.C.

Eleven new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Northern Health region on Tuesday, a day after the region saw its second death from the disease reported.

Eleven new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Northern Health region on Tuesday, a day after the region saw its second death from the disease reported.

The total number of cases in the north since the start of the pandemic rose to 266, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. deputy minister of health Stephen Brown said in a joint statement issued on Tuesday afternoon.

"Today, we are announcing 96 new cases, including seven epi-linked cases, for a total of 8,304 cases in British Columbia," Henry and Brown said. "There are 1,465 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,314 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 6,589 people who tested positive have recovered."

On Tuesday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 37 active cases in the Northern Health region. There were eight people hospitalized with the disease in northern B.C., including three in intensive care.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 18,004 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the Northern Health region, the B.C. CDC reported – including 185 tests on Tuesday.

Throughout the province there were 61 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 22 in intensive care, Henry and Brown said. There were no new deaths from COVID-19 reported in B.C. on Tuesday, leaving the province's death toll from the pandemic at 227.

"There has been an outbreak in one unit at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver," Henry and Brown said. "In total, 12 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and four acute-care facilities have active outbreaks. There have been no new community outbreaks, although there continue to be community exposure events."

No new public exposure events were reported by Northern Health on Tuesday.

"The start of fall is the time for all of us to regroup and reset our COVID-19 routines, and ready ourselves for the colder, wetter months ahead," Henry and Brown said. 

"As we move inside, the activities we choose to do and the layers of protection we use need to be adjusted to ensure we are protecting ourselves, our friends and family – especially those who are most vulnerable to severe illness. This means spending less time with others outside of our household bubble right now."

Health Minister Adrian Dix, who has taken part in the daily provincial COVID-19 briefings since the start of the pandemic, will not be taking part in the briefings during the election. Brown, the senior civil servant in the Ministry of Health, will take his place until a new government is formed after the election in October.

"We need to push our COVID-19 curve back down and keep the virus low and slow, so we can manage the many challenges that will come with the respiratory season," Henry and Brown said.

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