VANCOUVER -- B.C. health officials announced nine new cases of COVID-19 in the province, but not all are from the last 24 hours.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the total Thursday, adding that there were no new deaths in the province.

Five of the cases Henry spoke about were confirmed since her update the previous afternoon. But the provincial health officer said the remaining four are what she called epidemiologically linked cases, meaning people who were close contacts of confirmed cases, but didn't get tested for a variety of reasons.

Those reasons include that tests weren't available, or their symptoms were mild.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control lists epi-linked cases as probable, versus confirmed. 

To meet the definition, a person must have had either a fever of more than 38 C or a new onset or exacerbation of chronic cough.

They must also have had close contact with a confirmed case, or lived or worked in a facility known to be experiencing an outbreak, such as a prison or long-term care home.

Henry says the province has been counting epi-linked cases since May 19, the restart date. All four announced Thursday have recovered, and are not considered active cases.

These cases will now be featured in the province's daily updates.

She said health officials will go back and do serology testing on epi-linked cases identified before May 19, to see if those patients are confirmed to have had the virus. That data will be released as well.

The update brings the province's total to 2,632 cases:

  • 909 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region;
  • 1,334 in the Fraser Health region;
  • 130 in the Vancouver Island Health region;
  • 195 in the Interior Health region; and
  • 64 in Northern Health.

The province is monitoring six active outbreaks in long-term care facilities in B.C., with a total of 340 residents and 217 staff affected.

Henry also announced a new community outbreak, this one at a shelter in the Fraser Health region.

The Beresford Warming Centre, in Burnaby, has three confirmed cases. Henry said most of the cases involve staff, and officials are hopeful the low case number means exposure was limited.

There are currently 201 active cases in B.C., Henry said, and 26 people remain in hospital – six of whom are in intensive care.

There are 2,265 recoveries from the virus in B.C.; the death toll remains at 166.

Henry also provided more details on the virus's epidemiology in a presentation titled "How and Where the Virus Has Affected People in B.C."

Here's more on the latest modelling data.