VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor says she's feeling optimistic as the number of COVID-19 cases in the province levels off.
The slowdown comes as B.C. conducted a record 10,899 tests over a 24-hour period in what Dr. Bonnie Henry calls an "incredible feat."
Of those record tests, 82 people were diagnosed with the virus, a rate Henry said was very low, representing one per cent of positive cases.
Henry says that's an indication that contact tracing is contributing to the levelling off of cases.
One more person has died, bringing the pandemic death toll to 235 people in B.C.
The total number of cases diagnosed in the province is 9,220, while 7,695 people are considered recovered.
Henry said she's not one to overstate positive things, but she's "cautiously optimistic" after seeing the latest COVID-19 results.
"We're not seeing that exponential increase. We've been having a linear increase and it's kind of slowed down."
However, she said those numbers still reflect that there is ongoing transmission in the community and people need to remain careful.
"We've found that this virus — and I say this with all humility — it sneaks up on us and we can have explosive outbreaks if we're not on our guard."
There are outbreaks at 15 long-term care homes and three acute-care units.
Henry said she's hopeful the illness won't spread from a second outbreak confirmed at the George Derby Centre, a long-term care facility in Burnaby, where a single health-care worker tested positive.
She said B.C. has not had any outbreaks in schools, although it's possible that may happen.
Henry cautions that while the case counts may be low, they reflect only the cases that are known.
"The risk is the same and we've seen that across the province where things pop up all over the place."
Because B.C. has stepped up its testing, Henry said it's taking longer, perhaps a few days, to get results for those who tested negative.
However, she said people who test positive are usually contacted within 24 hours.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2020.
The Canadian Press