B.C. sets new daily record with 139 cases of COVID-19
VANCOUVER -- Looking for Friday's update? Developing story here.
British Columbia has set a new record for the number of COVID-19 cases identified over a single day.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced another 139 infections on Thursday, breaking the previous daily record of 124.
That brings the number of cases identified in B.C. since the start of the pandemic to 6,830, and pushes the province's active caseload to 1,412.
The latest update was delivered hours after children and teenagers across the province returned to classes, which has caused significant concern for many parents.
Health officials once again stressed that people can keep each other safe by following public health advice, and launched a new line of messaging to help people navigate their social lives: "Stick to six."
"If you're going out to a restaurant or a bar, make sure that your group is no larger than six," Dix said. "Stick to six if you're hosting a small gathering in your home. And if your home is smaller – if it's an apartment, like mine – less than six."
Officials said people should be consistent with who they choose to see face to face as well, choosing from one group of six and "not multiple groups."
Thursday's update also set a new record for active cases in B.C., which topped 1,400 for the first time.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 – which is considered one of the most important ways to measure the severity of the pandemic – increased by five, to 42. But the number of people in critical care or intensive care units decreased by one, to 14.
Hospitalizations are now higher than they've been since May 22, but are still well below B.C.'s peak of 149 in early April. Henry said the numbers are inching up, in part, because the younger people who are largely driving the latest surge in cases are passing it on to others.
"We're starting to see that spillover into long-term care homes where people work, and having contact with older family members and others in the community, and that leading to people being hospitalized," Henry said, adding that "even young people can get very sick with (COVID-19)."
Officials also noted that B.C. is not at a point where hospital capacity is a concern.
Officials had no new deaths or outbreaks to report, and the infections announced Thursday were offset by a large number of new recoveries. Officials said 104 people have beaten COVID-19 since Wednesday, bringing B.C.'s total to 5,190.