Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. Ontario’s overly cautious approach to COVID-19 testing is endangering lives and hindering efforts to rein in soaring infections that are ravaging long-term care facilities, filling ICU beds and lurking silently in communities, say critics alarmed by the province’s admission that labs can handle four times the number of tests they receive. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. reports 122 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge smaller social circles

Health officials urge against shaming and blaming patients

B.C. reported 122 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday (Sept. 16), as the number of active cases topped 1,600.

The number of total confirmed cases since the pandemic began has increased to 7,498, while the number of people under public health monitoring has dropped just under 3,000 to 2,966. There are currently 1,614 active cases, 60 of whom are hospitalized and 23 in ICU.

There have been no new COVID-19 deaths, with the death toll remaining at 219.

“As we learn more and better understand where the risks exist, we will continue to adjust our COVID-19 approach and response in B.C. to protect those who are most vulnerable,” Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a joint statement.

Health officials urged British Columbians to not “blame and shame” people who get infected with the novel coronavirus, in fear of dissuading people from coming forward to get tested.

Dix and Henry also repeated their warning to shrink social circles, or “stick to six” as the health minister has dubbed it at prior press briefings.

“Large gatherings have been a steady source of transmission. However, many of the new cases we are seeing in the past weeks are from small gatherings where people see different groups of friends on different days – inadvertently spreading the virus to many people,” health officials said. They reminded people to stick to a self-contained bubble of six people, and not come into close contact with different groups and people regularly.

The province did not report any new outbreaks in health-care settings on Wednesday; the count remains at 14, with 11 in long-term care and three in acute care.

B.C. did announce that it will begin to post exposures to COVID-19 at schools on a public website, following weeks of criticism.

READ MORE: B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

READ MORE: Vancouver airport to pilot pre-flight COVID-19 tests for select WestJet passengers


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre reopening October 5

The pool facility will have COVID-19 restrictions and protocols in place for patrons

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

In Our Valley: Adam Ferreira

Adam Ferreira is moving up in the hockey world, and he’s excited to see where it leads

Car in ditch after collision at Hwy 37 and Hirsch Creek Park

Two vehicles were involved, but only minor injuries were sustained by passengers

Kitimat Terry Fox Run goes virtual for 40th anniversary

Participants are encouraged to track their walk or run, or just get out within their social bubble

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

VIDEO: Tickets now available for the Second Annual Northern View Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

Four great locations in Prince Rupert and Port Edward to buy your tickets

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Most Read