Dr. Réka Gustafson, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, updates the province’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. cabinet offices in Vancouver, Aug. 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. reaches 200 COVID-19 deaths, 80 new cases reported

All recovered from Haida Gwaii coronavirus outbreak

B.C. public health officials reported 80 more cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with two additional deaths to bring the total to 200 since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The latest two deaths were in long-term care in the Fraser Health region, deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson and Health Minister Adrian Dix reported Aug. 20. The province continues to monitor nine outbreaks in health care, eight of them in long-term care homes.

Gustafson said the community outbreak in Haida Gwaii has been declared over, and a new outbreak has been identified at a Loblaws grocery distribution centre in the Fraser Health region, with nine positive tests.

The latest testing brings the number of active cases in B.C. to 780. More than 2,500 people are being monitored in self-isolation after potential exposure to the virus. Gustafson said the majority of new cases are still among younger people, and the rise in isolation orders is a result of additional contact tracing for people who have been exposed at parties and gatherings.

Dix said additional testing capacity is being added in the Lower Mainland, with 4,207 test results completed Wednesday. The 80 positive tests indicate a 1.8 per cent rate of positive tests among those who are identified as having symptoms or risk. COVID-19 tests are being completed in an average 26 hours in the Fraser Health region, 24 hours in Vancouver Coastal Health and 16 hours in the Island Health region, Dix said.

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Gustafson said the latest results are “relatively stable” after a jump in daily cases in recent weeks. She reiterated the caution about indoor and outdoor gatherings, particularly parties involving alcohol.

“We are seeing a small increase in infections in the 40 to 60 age group,” Gustafson said. “We are monitoring this because the risk goes up with age.”


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