COVID cases still too high, Henry and Dix say

The number of new COVID-19 cases remains too high, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement issued Tuesday.

They reported 407 new cases on Wednesday, with Fraser Health accounting for 169, Vancouver Coast 124, Interior Health 54, Northern Health 38 and Island Health 22.

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The seven-day rolling average for new cases in B.C. stood at 469.3, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

For Northern Health, it was 43 and essentially unchanged since Saturday after hitting a peak of 52.1 on January 21. At its highest point, it was 57 on January 15.

"The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be. We are asking for everyone's help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province," Dix and Henry said.

They said the greatest source of transmission comes from people who spend time outside their household, work or school bubble.

"That is why staying small and equally important, avoiding all unnecessary travel, is what we need to do right now," Dix and Henry said.

As for those who are complying, Dix and Henry said they can be the voice of support and encouragement for those who may be wavering in their resolve.

"For the few who have chosen to put aside the public health precautions we all need to follow and make exceptions for themselves, now is your time to join or rejoin us in our efforts. It is never to late to be a part of the team who is making a difference every day across our province.

"Our goal is clear - fewer cases in B.C. - as low as we can go. Our path to get there is just as clear - fewer faces and fewer places.

"We have the tools and the resources, and with each day we do our part, we will be that much closer."

Fourteen more deaths from the virus were registered on Tuesday, raising the total since the pandemic began to 1,168 in B.C. None of them were in Northern Health, where the running count held steady at 61.

Active cases in the province stood at 4,260 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, down 132 from Monday while hospitalizations declined by 15 to 313 with 71 of them in intensive care, up by three.

In Northern Health, active cases stood at 511, down by one, while hospitalizations declined by one to 46 and the number in intensive care held steady at 16.

Active cases in Fraser Health stood at 1,622, while Interior Health was home to 985, Vancouver Coastal to 924 and Island Health to 201 while eight were from outside Canada.

A further 6,450 people were under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases

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