Six new COVID cases reported in northern B.C. on Friday, provincial surge continues

Six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Northern Health region on Friday, as the surge in cases continued across the province.

In a joint statement issued on Friday afternoon, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and deputy minister of health Stephen Brown said the total number of cases in the north increased to 371.

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"Today, we are reporting 223 new cases, including five epi-linked cases, for a total of 12,554 cases in British Columbia," Henry and Brown said. "There are 2,009 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 4,637 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 10,247 people who tested positive have recovered."

The number of active cases in the north wasn't reported. On Thursday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 13 active cases in the Northern Health region. One person in the north was hospitalized with COVID-19 and in intensive care.

Data released by the B.C. CDC on Thursday showed there had been 11 new COVID cases in the Northern Interior health service delivery area over period between Oct. 9 and Oct. 22.

The Northern Interior, which includes Prince George, is one of three health service delivery areas that make up Northern Health. The Northwest and Northeast had 11 cases and 13 cases, respectively, over the past two weeks.

As of Thursday, 123 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the Northern Interior.

Throughout B.C., 75 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 25 in intensive care, Henry and Brown said.

No new deaths linked to COVID-19 were reported on Friday.

Public health officials were monitoring COVID-19 outbreaks in 16 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care health facilities. All of those outbreaks were located in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions.

"In recent days, we have seen a number of new outbreaks of COVID-19 in the community and in long-term care facilities. Contact-tracing teams throughout our province are working around the clock to stop further spread, but it requires all of us to do our part to be successful in these efforts," Henry and Brown said. "This is our opportunity and the time to take a step back from our social interactions and keep our groups small this weekend. In doing this, we show our appreciation and support for the important work of contact tracers."

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