VANCOUVER -- British Columbia's premier is calling on the province's most famous residents to help spread the word about how to stop the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Premier John Horgan called on prominent British Columbians, including actors Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen, to help spread public health messages to young people in the province.

"This is a call out to Deadpool right now," Horgan said. "Ryan, we need your help out here, get in touch with us. My number's on the internet. Seth Rogen, another outstanding British Columbian, we need to communicate with people who aren't hearing us. The two of you alone could help us in that regard."

The recent growth in the number of coronavirus cases in B.C. has been traced largely to private parties attended by younger people.

On Wednesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said some people in that age group have been attending multiple gatherings with different social groups and not maintaining sufficient physical distance or taking other precautions - such as wearing masks - while doing so.

The province is looking for ways to convince young people to stop engaging in risky behaviour that could spread COVID-19, Horgan said.

"(Health) Minister (Adrian) Dix and I have been talking about the importance of making sure that younger demographics are hearing the message," the premier said. "There's a host of other options available and we're working as hard as we can to enlist a number of prominent British Columbians and prominent Canadians to help get that message through to the demographic that clearly isn't hearing our message."

As of Tuesday, there were 472 active cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, the most the province has seen at one time since mid-May.