FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

148 new COVID cases, 2 deaths in B.C. as Dr. Henry clarifies school exposure protocols

There are 1,371 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C.

B.C. has recorded 148 COVID-19 cases and two deaths as of Thursday (Sept. 24), according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Twelve of the new cases are epi-linked and the deaths took place in Fraser Health, bringing the total death toll to 229. There have now been a total of 8,543 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began.

There are 1,371 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., with 61 people in hospital, including 20 in ICU. There are 3,417 people under active health monitoring.

Henry also took a moment to remember a First Nations elder who died in Northern B.C. over the weekend, reminding British Columbians that the death toll from the pandemic has a human cost.

Schools across B.C. have recorded more than 30 exposures since students returned to classrooms two weeks ago. Henry said that while health authorities will continue to publish exposure events online, individual students or teachers will not be named.

She said her office has “full confidence” in the way all health authorities are posting school exposures online, but that the main focus is contact tracing and informing families if their children have been near a COVID-19 patient.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving next month, Henry said this is “not the year” for large gatherings with people outside your household.

“There’s no reason at all why you can’t have Thanksgiving with your small household bubble,” she said.

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to download the COVID Alert during his television address Wednesday night, Henry said B.C. is “on the to-do list in the coming weeks,” but that she is looking for a few changes that would make it better suited for the province’s needs.

“We can’t let our guard down now,” Henry urged.

“We have to find ways to live with this virus… and focus on protecting those who will suffer the most.”

RAED MORE: ‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving’: Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

READ MORE: Feds promise help for surging COVID-19 test demand but won’t OK rapid-test tech yet

READ MORE: Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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