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With 165 COVID-19 cases, BC records another daily high

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:21 PDT, Thu September 17, 2020

Last Updated: 4:26 PDT, Thu September 17, 2020

BC has once again topped its previous daily record for new COVID-19 cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 165 new cases since Wednesday. That includes two epi-linked, and raises the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 7,663. There are 1,705 active cases—an increase of 91 from yesterday, and of nearly 300 from a week ago.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said it’s important to put the high case count in context. Yesterday there were 7,674 tests conducted across BC—the highest number in a single day since the pandemic began.

“People in public health have been doing an extraordinary job, and an extraordinary effort,” said Dix. 

The number of hospitalizations decreased slightly to 57, with 22 of those people in critical care. There was one new COVID-19 related death announced, a senior in longterm care in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, bringing that number to 220.

There are 2,949 people under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to known cases, a slight decrease from yesterday’s number. But there were two new healthcare outbreaks announced, both in acute care: one at the Delta Hospital and one in the rehab unit at the Peace Arch Hospital. There are 15 active outbreaks in the healthcare sector.

There were no new community outbreaks, but exposure events continue to occur across the province. All public health authorities now have an active website for school outbreaks to be published. While there are several exposures reported in schools, there have been no outbreaks—classed as multiple positive cases with widespread transmission likely occurring within a school setting.

A new COVID-19 test is being made available for school-aged children aged four to 19. As opposed to the existing nasal swab test, the new test is a saline gargle that is simpler and more comfortable for young children.

Children will need to go to a testing centre to receive the new test, but the actual test can be completed by parents or children themselves. The test is also produced by a BC company, which Henry noted reduces pressures on the global supply chain. 

“Getting tested as soon as anyone has any symptoms is very important,” said Henry.

She finished her remarks by reminding people the importance of maintaining safe distances from others whether at indoor or outdoor gatherings, as well as keeping numbers small. 

“Regardless of our location, when we’re socializing with others, smaller is always safer,” she said. “The compromises we have made to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities safe means seeing fewer friends and family members for now.”

Henry added that small groups should also be the same groups consistently, and that seeing different friends on different days significantly increases potential transmission risk.

“This month let’s remember we need to get ready for respiratory season, we need to hold steady with our layers of protection, we need to step back from our socializing with different groups, and that way we can step forward with the routines that will keep our communities and our loved ones safe,” said Henry.

For a listing of community notifications, including school notifications, click here.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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