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UPDATE: Woman in her 70s the first Northern Health patient to die of COVID-19, region adds 12 cases in three days

She passed away via community transmission at 'an event'
Dr. Bonnie Henry - Sept. 10, 2020
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. Provincial Health Officer. (via Flickr/Province of B.C.)

COVID-19 has taken its first life in northern B.C.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says a woman in her 70s passed away in hospital after contracting COVID-19 at 'an event,' but did not disclose which one it was or where she died specifically.

This marks the first virus-linked death in Northern Health since the pandemic reached the region in March.

Dr. Henry adds it was a community transmission and one of six people who died across B.C. this past weekend, bringing the toll to 219.

Today (Sept. 14), she also unveiled 317 new positive COVID-19 cases since Friday (Sept. 11) for a new grand total of 7,279.

This includes 12 in Northern Health, who has experienced 216 confirmed tests in five months.

The case counts for the last three days is as follows:

  • 137 = Friday to Saturday
    • Two off the province's single-day record (139)
  • 119 = Saturday to Sunday
  • 61 = Sunday to Monday

A new record has also been set with 1,594 active cases.

Of those, there are 58 people in hospital battling COVID-19 symptoms, seven in Northern Health, and 16 are in critical care, while 5,446 people have recovered.

There are three northern B.C. residents in ICU and 184 who have recovered from the virus.

"COVID-19 has not left us, and it has required all of us to adjust our daily activities," said Dr. Henry during her update.

Smoke has been creeping north across B.C. and aloft in Prince George from wildfires in the United States, adding an extra level of concern for people with asthma, respiratory illnesses, diabetes and other conditions.

While in the past Dr. Henry has urged British Columbians to get outside for exercise, she is now urging people to stay inside.

"Outdoor exercise should be avoided right now until the skies clear," she said.

Cases by health authority include 3,754 in Fraser, 2,557 in Vancouver Coastal, 473 in the interior and 195 on Vancouver Island.

There are two listed exposure events listed by Northern Health that remain in effect:

  • It Is Time Canada religious gathering = Deadwood, Alta. (July 30-Aug. 2)
  • Prespatou region = No address (Month of August)

Haida Gwaii has recorded the only COVID-19 community outbreak in northern B.C., which was declared over on Aug. 28.

- with files from Nelson Bennett, Business In Vancouver