Nine new cases of COVID-19 reported in northern B.C.

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

In a joint statement released on Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there were 97 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the province's total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 7,376. The Northern Health region's total rose to 225.

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"There are 1,590 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,001 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 5,548 people who tested positive have recovered," Henry and Dix said. "Currently, 63 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in intensive care.

The number of active cases and number of patients hospitalized in the north was not provided. But on Monday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 31 active cases in the north, with seven patients hospitalized with the disease – including three in intensive care.

"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 219 deaths in British Columbia," Henry and Dix said. "We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

A new COVID-19 outbreak was reported at the OPAL by Element in the Vancouver. Public health officials are monitoring outbreaks at 11 long-term care and assisted-living facilities.

"There have been no new community outbreaks, although there continue to be community exposure events," Henry and Dix said. "We must hold steady with our layers of protection. From keeping safe distances, to washing our hands, staying home, and staying away from others when we are ill and have symptoms of COVID-19, we must all do our part. And if we do have symptoms, contact 811 to arrange to get tested."

As of Monday, 16,372 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the Northern Health region. In the last seven days, the number of tests conducted per day has ranged from 25 to 290 in the north.

"Testing allows for rapid contact tracing. It means public health teams are able to quickly notify those who may be at risk and contain the spread to the others in the community," Henry and Dix said. "Let's continue to monitor ourselves for symptoms and to modify our activities so we can all manage COVID-19 as it remains in our communities. Let's take the precautions we need to that will protect ourselves, our loved ones, our elders and our communities."

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