COVID deaths rise to seven in Northern Health

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported a seventh death from COVID-19 in Northern Health on Tuesday.

It was among 16 deaths from the virus across the province as the toll increased to 457 on that front. Active cases in Northern Health declined by 20 to 250 from midday Monday while hospitalizations rose by four to 29 and the number of patients in intensive care rose by one to 13.

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The positivity rate - or percentage of tests that yield a positive result - stood at 8.3 per cent as of Monday, based on a seven-day rolling average, the highest among the six health authorities in the province.

Meanwhile, Northern Health issued a possible exposure notification for Sacred Heart Elementary School in Prince George for the period of November 24-26.

Parents of children attending schools where there may be been an exposure are being advised that a notification does not mean their children have been exposed to COVID-19.

"If you do not receive a phone call or letter from Public Health, your child should continue to attend school," Northern Health says.

Active cases in B.C. also went down slightly, by 59, to 8,796 while hospitalizations rose by 20 to 336 and the number in intensive care went up by one to 76.

As for new cases, 656 were reported with Fraser Health accounting for 408, Vancouver Coastal 140, Interior Health 83, Northern Health 15 and Interior Health 10.

As of Tuesday, 10,123 people were under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix noted that Tuesday was World AIDS Day and Day of Giving.

"It is a time for all of us to pause, to think about the many people throughout our province, our nation and the world who have been impacted by COVID-19 and other global epidemics. It is also a time to think about what we can do to make a difference," they said.

"Let's be resilient in face of this surge. United and together, let's make an impact today through our own personal actions.

"Without exception, follow the provincial health officer's orders in place. Remember that events, which refer to anything that gathers people together - whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis - are not allowed for now. This includes religious, cultural or community events. Do not gather at home with anyone other than your household or core bubble.

"Let's make today a day to slow community transmission and continue to protect everyone in our province."

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