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B.C. confirms 90 new cases of COVID-19, for total of 4,915

There have been two new deaths
dix Gustafson bc covid cases update  august 17
B.C.'s minister of health Adrian Dix and deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson are pictured providing a COVID-19 update on Aug. 17. Photo: Province of British Columbia / Flickr

B.C.'s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed to 4,915 on Friday, after health officials announced 90 new cases in the last 24 hours. 

In a statement, deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafason and health minister Adrian Dix reported that there have now been a total of 1,569 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 2,572 in the Fraser Health region, 160 in the Island Health region, 417 in the Interior Health region, 122 in the Northern Health region and 75 cases in people who reside outside of Canada.

That brings the total number of active cases of COVID-19 in the province to 824, while 3,889 people who tested positive for the virus have since recovered. There are 13 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. - five of whom are in intensive care - while the remaining people suffering from COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

According to the statement, there are also 2,594 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. 

Officials also announced two new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health region Friday, for a total of 202 COVID-19-related fatalities in British Columbia. 

There were no new health-care facility outbreaks to report, keeping B.C.'s current list of active outbreaks contained to eight long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility. While there were similarly no new community outbreaks to announce heading into the weekend, the statement warned British Columbians that "community exposure events continue."

The Friday afternoon COVID-19 update comes following an announcement earlier in the day from Mike Farnworth, B.C.'s minister of public safety and solicitor general, about new enforcement measures "focused on locations and activities that are known to be at highest risk and the sustained sources for transmission."

However, officials cautioned British Columbians "to remember that the people who choose to disregard public health orders are the exception. Rather, we are heartened that the vast majority of people in B.C. are doing their part to protect themselves and each other."

As Gustafson and Dix stated in Friday's release, “COVID-19 is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. What that means for British Columbians is that we are all learning to live our lives with the virus in our communities."

The health officials also took the opportunity to remind British Columbians that "COVID-19 prevention looks different in different places." 

In public, "around people we do not know," that means focusing on giving people more space, they wrote, while workplaces and classrooms, "where we interact with people we know," should aim to focus on keeping groups smaller, staying home when sick and reducing very close face-to-face contact.

“The public health response is about reducing virus spread by establishing appropriate safety plans in businesses, schools and other settings, detecting and isolating new cases as quickly as possible and containing the spread when clusters occur," the statement read. 

As the weekend approaches, officials also encouraged B.C. residents to “take a few minutes to remind yourself of the steps we all take each day and every day. Together, we have the knowledge, we have the skills and the expertise. Let’s continue to protect our most vulnerable, our elders, our communities and ourselves.”

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