VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor is urging people to take control of the latest rise in cases of COVID-19 by going back to the basics on their personal safety plans.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday the increase in the number of new cases is a concern.
There have been another 294 cases of the disease diagnosed in the past three days and four people have died, three of them residents of long-term-care homes.
There has been a total of 5,790 people diagnosed with the virus, although 4,406 of those have recovered.
There are 28 people in hospital and 2,723 people in the province are in self-isolation monitoring signs of COVID-19 because they had contact with someone who tested positive.
Henry said everyone needs to pay attention to safety protocols as the cooler weather arrives along with the flu season.
"After many months of restrictions, we all needed to reconnect with our family, with friends, with our communities this summer. We travelled. We enjoyed our province. And many of us recharged," she told a news conference.
"Now we must slow down on our social interactions and we must prepare for the respiratory season ahead. No one knows for sure what the fall is going to bring."
The increase in cases isn't a second wave, but it needs to be flattened to prevent a surge of people flooding B.C.'s health-care system, she said.
"We're not seeing large numbers of people in intensive care, and we're not seeing the transmission and the rates in the older age group," Henry said.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province is preparing hospitals for a possible influx of influenza as well as COVID-19 cases this fall.
The province is also adding more contact tracers and additional workers for long-term-care homes, he said.
Henry said the province is not looking at adding more restrictions going into the fall because officials adjust public health orders based on where transmissions are happening.
When asked whether the reopening of schools flies in the face of reducing contacts, she said workplaces are different from social interactions.
"They need to start thinking about reducing those social contacts, having those close touching, hugging contacts," Henry said.
"It is a trade-off. It's a trade-off because it is so important for us to ensure that our work and our essential services continue. Our children are in school and learning, and the learning environment is safe."
— By Hina Alam in Vancouver
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2020.
The Canadian Press