Northern Health has surpassed another significant milestone during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are now 303 positive tests for the virus since it reached the region in March after 14 new ones were reported since Friday (Sept. 25)
These were among a total of 267 new COVID-19 cases from the weekend, stated by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in her update today (Sept. 28), for a new B.C.-wide total of 8,908.
The latest three-day counts are as follows, appearing to be decreasing in numbers compared to previous periods:
- 68 = Friday to Saturday
- 125 = Saturday to Sunday
- 74 = Sunday to Monday
She also says three more fatalities happened since Friday, bringing B.C.'s pandemic death toll to 233 deaths, none of which occured in Northern Health, which remains at just two deaths.
Of the 1,302 active cases, down 47 since Dr. Henry's last update, 69 are in hospital with 22 in ICU.
B.C. has 3,372 people being actively monitored for COVID-19, while 7,346 have recovered, equalling 82 per cent of the total cases.
Dr. Henry says a likely scenario for a COVID-exposed school to be shut down completely would be if a majority of the teachers started to contract the virus.
In Northern Health, there are three schools listed on the authority's exposure list, including Quesnel Junior Secondary School named twice for exposures Sept. 10 to 11 and 15 to 18.
"Exposure events do not mean that your child has been exposed to COVID-19," Dr. Henry said. "Unless you have a call directly from public health, you don't need to worry about that.
"Just because there's been an exposure event does not mean you need to keep your children home."
Should a student or teacher receive a positive COVID-19 test, Northern Heath's school notification process is as follows:
- Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with
- We identify and notify close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advise them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days
- Only Public Health can determine who is a close contact
- Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact
- Public Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community
Of Northern Health's case count, there are at least 27 confirmed among First Nations communities with 13 of those in Nak'azdli Whut'en and 14 in Witset.
“Let’s take a moment to appreciate our shared successes and use that to fuel and energize each other in the months ahead," adds Dr. Henry.
“Social connection is important to all of us, but let’s ensure we are connecting safely. For some people, staying apart is perhaps a more difficult choice to make, so let’s encourage and support each other to do the right thing."
Cases in B.C.'s four other authorities include 4,555 in Fraser Health, 3,226 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 531 in the interior and 206 on Vancouver Island.
- with a file from Nelson Bennett, Business In Vancouver