Sixth northerner killed by COVID-19, cases hit new highs

A sixth resident of the Northern Health region has died of COVID-19, according to data reported by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control on Friday.

The death was one of 10 COVID-19 related deaths reported in B.C. on Friday, bringing the province's death toll from the pandemic to 331.

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"We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic," B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement released Friday afternoon.

Also on Friday, the region saw its largest single-day spike in new cases: 25. As of Friday, there were 95 active cases of COVID-19 in the north, also a new record.

Ten northern B.C. residents were hospitalized with COVID, with eight people in intensive care. The total number of cases in the north, since the start of the pandemic, grew to 588, the B.C. CDC reported.

"Yesterday, new and expanded provincial health officer's orders came into effect around the province," Henry and Dix said. "The orders will help us slow the spread of COVID-19; to relieve the pressure on our health-care system and reduce the risks within our communities."

Across the province, a total of 516 new cases were reported on Friday. The number of active cases increased to 7,122, with 227 British Columbians hospitalized – including 57 in intensive care.

The total number of cases in the province, since the start of the pandemic, reached 25,474.

Between Thursday's update and Friday, 11,078 COVID-19 tests were performed – including 275 in the Northern Health region.

"We are all feeling the strain of COVID-19," Henry and Dix said. "By taking a step back right now, we will all be able to enjoy the confidence in knowing that here in B.C. we have flattened our curve once again."

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