B.C. health officials reported no new COVID-19 related deaths but 146 new test-positive cases over the B.C. Day long weekend.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry broke down the new case count, which took place over a four day period. From Friday to Saturday, 43 cases were recorded, while Saturday to Sunday saw 29, Sunday to Monday reported 46, and Monday to Tuesday had 28 new COVID-19 cases.
This weekend's case numbers bring the total number of cases in the province to 3,787.
Dr. Henry said the case numbers over the long weekend are not unexpected, as we are now seeing cases from those exposed at events up to two weeks ago.
“This is a concern, because the majority are related to what happened prior to this long weekend,” she said. “The source of these cases is varied, and as we’ve talked about many times, this is something that we take very seriously in public health. To track down and trace how everybody, every single case, became infected is important to us.”
Case counts continue to rise across the province, with multiple exposure events continuing to cause an impact. Interior Health is now reporting 377 cases total, 137 of which are linked to the Kelowna exposure events.
In a press release sent out last week, Interior Health noted they have changed the way they are reporting cases linked to the “Kelowna cluster”.
“Currently we are seeing more broad community transmission so we are expanding our reporting to focus on any cases that are linked to Kelowna during their exposure or infectious period,” read the press release.
The new reporting format does not change the total number of cases in Interior Health, but reclassifies many as associated with the Kelowna cluster.
“This new reporting will more accurately reflect what is happening in the city and region,” said the health authority.
Interior Health also announced a new testing site on Tuesday. The new site is located in downtown Kelowna, at the Community Health and Services Centre. The clinic is open from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. everyday of the week and does not require an appointment.
“We are taking a different approach and trying something new at the CHSC,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, IH chief medical health officer. “Many of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kelowna this month have been in their 20s and 30s, and live, work and socialize downtown. This site is set up to be convenient and accessible for these individuals and others, so that getting tested when you may have been exposed to COVID-19 is easy, and we can stop the spread.”
The new testing site will run for a minimum of two weeks.
Sophie Carrigan Gray, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Osoyoos Times