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B.C. confirms 50 new cases of COVID-19, for total of 3,641

"Don’t get stuck in self-isolation for 14 days, or worse – get sick, because you shared beers at a party or made out with someone with COVID-19"
Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 3.02.39 PM
Dr. Bonnie Henry. Photo: Province of British Columbia/Flickr

B.C. has now seen a total of 3,641 confirmed cases of COVID-19, after health officials announced 50 new cases Friday.

That's nearly double the 29 new cases that health officials announced yesterday

In a joint statement issued Friday afternoon, health minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported a total of 1,088 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region since the beginning of the pandemic, while the Fraser Health region has seen 1,889 cases. There have been 144 in Island Health, 369 in the Interior Health region, 88 in Northern Health and 63 cases in people who reside outside of Canada. 

The pair also reported one new death in the Vancouver Coastal Health region on Friday, bringing British Columbia's total number of COVID-19 related fatalities to 195. 

There are 278 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, meaning 3,168 people who tested positive have since recovered. 

Five individuals are currently receiving treatment in hospital, two of whom are in intensive care. Henry and Dix said the remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation. 

The province announced one additional health-care facility outbreak today, affecting Dania Home in the Fraser Health region. That means there are now two long-term care facilities with active outbreaks in B.C., including the Holy Family Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver Coastal Health, as well as one acute-care facility. 

Health officials did not have any new community outbreaks to announce today. However, public health teams are continuing to support the ongoing outbreaks on Haida Gwaii, and at Fraser Valley Packers Inc. Officials have noted that British Columbians should not have any health concerns related to the consumption of fruit from Fraser Valley Packers Inc. That said, people are reminded to always wash fruit and vegetables before eating them. 

Haida Gwaii, meanwhile, remains closed to non-residents as locals continue to deal with the community outbreak affecting the northern island archipelago.

The province also warned of additional community exposure events that have taken place across the province, including an ever-growing list of flights travelling to or from Vancouver International Airport. A full list of community exposure events, broken down by flights and by health authority, can be found on the BC Centre for Disease Control's website.

As the province heads into the B.C. Day long weekend, health officials are reminding British Columbians to "play safe and stay safe" while the virus continues to be found within communities.

“We can make this B.C. Day holiday weekend one where we find the right balance: having those important social connections with our friends and family, while taking precautions to protect ourselves and those around us," read the statement from Dix and Henry. 

“Let’s socialize safely by keeping our groups small, using the layers of protection and giving everyone enough space to stay safe, whether at a backyard barbecue, on a friend’s boat or enjoying a nearby park."

To that end, the province has released a new "Good Times Guide," from Henry, intended as a "playbook" to help British Columbians figure out how to "spread fun - not COVID-19." 

The guide comes after several community outbreaks in B.C. have been linked to "good times," or rather gatherings of people in their 20s to 40s who have contributed to the spread of the virus by attending house parties, visiting bars and restaurants and more. 

"Don’t get stuck in self-isolation for 14 days, or worse – get sick, because you shared beers at a party or made out with someone with COVID-19," reads the guide. "Have a good time – safely."

- With files from Elana Shepert