B.C. records 1,785 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday

·3 min read
Cars lined up  at Fraser Health’s COVID-19 testing clinic in Coquitlam before Christmas.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Cars lined up at Fraser Health’s COVID-19 testing clinic in Coquitlam before Christmas. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 1,785 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Information on deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations was not provided by the province Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, the province says more detailed information will be reported on Wednesday. The statement also noted that the latest numbers are preliminary.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province is 243,731, according to the province.

The regional breakdown of new cases on Tuesday is as follows:

  • 791 new cases in Fraser Health.

  • 400 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health.

  • 283 new cases in Island Health.

  • 269 new cases in Interior Health.

  • 42 new cases in Northern Health.

Updated Interior Health guidelines

With more than 1,700 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. on Monday, Interior Health updated its guidance Tuesday for when to get tested for the virus.

A COVID-19 test is not recommended if:

  • You have no symptoms, even if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

  • You are fully vaccinated (two doses), experiencing mild symptoms and can manage your illness at home. You should self-isolate for seven days and notify your close contacts so they can self-monitor for symptoms.

A COVID-19 test is recommended if:

  • You are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms: fever or chills; cough; loss of sense of smell or taste; or difficulty breathing.

  • You have experienced one or more of the following symptoms for longer than 24 hours with no improvement: sore throat; loss of appetite; headache or body aches; extreme fatigue; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

If you feel unwell and are unsure about your symptoms, contact your health care provider or call 811.

Rapid tests will also be available at all Interior Health Community Collection Centres starting this week.

No appointment is required to pick up a test, but access may be temporarily limited, the health authority said in a written release.

If a rapid COVID-19 test indicates a positive result, you must continue to self-isolate and follow the guidance included in the test package, including how to self-report a positive result.

Positive rapid tests not counted

Jens Von Bergmann, a data analyst and member of the B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group, says the province's decision to not include positive rapid tests in the daily case numbers is "really problematic."

"Testing is our look-ahead scope, our compass that tells us if our public health measures are working and to what extent," he told CBC News. "But we don't really know now if they are actually working or how well are they working."

He said experts aren't quite sure how the Omicron variant will affect hospitalization rates in the months ahead and are worried that without complete data they won't fully understand how transmissible it is.

"Only Vancouver Coastal has a self-reporting website in place," Von Bergmann said. "I'm not sure if there's infrastructure for a person on the Island to self-report their positive case to public health."

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday that the province had reached maximum capacity on testing and contact tracing.

She added that with hours-long lines at testing sites, the province was "triaging" tests by providing rapid antigen tests to those at lesser risk, saving the more accurate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for those at higher risk.

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