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

Six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Northern Health region on Tuesday.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and deputy minister of health Stephen Brown said the total number of cases in the north, since the start of the pandemic, rose to 309.

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"Today, we are announcing 105 new cases, including three epi-linked cases, for a total of 9,013 cases in British Columbia. There are 1,268 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,337 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 7,485 people who tested positive have recovered," Henry and Brown said. "Currently, 69 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in intensive care."

The number of active cases and patients hospitalized in northern B.C. was not provided. On Monday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 45 active cases in the Northern Health region. There were five people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the north on Monday, all five of whom were in intensive care, the B.C. CDC reported.

"There has been one new COVID-19 related death in Fraser Health, for a total of 234 deaths in British Columbia," Henry and Brown said. "We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Currently, the province is monitoring COVID outbreaks at 14 long-term care and assisted-living facilities in B.C., none of which are located in the Northern Health region. The province is also monitoring outbreaks at three acute-care health facilities.

On Monday, a spokesperson for Northern Health said no COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at any health care facilities in the health authority.

"That said, with the rise in COVID cases generally, it is not unexpected that some will be health care workers. But it should not be assumed that cases in health care workers are related to workplace contact," the spokesperson said. "In fact, given the safety plans and processes in health care settings, the risk of that being the source of contact is much lower than in general community settings."

Northern Health does not identify individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the spokesperson added. If people have been in contact with someone with the disease, public health officials will contact them to tell them what steps they should take without identifying the person who is sick.

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