A joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said the majority of new cases are young people from the Lower Mainland who have been exposed at events in the community.
“The cases we see today reflect exposures from a week to 10 days ago. A significant number of cases are also linked to travel outside the province, ”the statement said.
A new death from COVID-19 has also been confirmed, marking the first death from the virus in almost two weeks.
“We need to refocus on actions to flatten the infection curve and protect British Columbians as we help our province recover,” the statement said.
Earlier Wednesday, the province announced the hiring of about 500 new contact tracing officers to help public health.
Likely comprised of retired nurses and recent graduates, the new tracers will strengthen the capacity of public health to effectively monitor community transmission of COVID-19.
“Whenever we have a positive case of COVID-19, they are followed up individually to find out exactly who they have been with, where they have been, the movements we do every day,” said Dr Bonnie Henry, head of provincial health.
The province previously said contact tracing was a key indicator of the success of social distancing measures.
Dr Henry said that at the start of the pandemic, ties between people were quite high, a number that quickly fell with the lockdowns going into effect.
“Now it’s going up again and it’s worrying, right now we’re doing. We are able to contact 98% of the people who are close contacts of our cases in BC, we don’t see a lot of unrelated cases.
In the meantime, the province has updated its return to school schedule.
Students will resume classroom learning by September 10 with an orientation day to help adjust to schooling in the COVID era.
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