B.C. records 407 new cases of COVID-19, including 22 in Island Health

Health officials in British Columbia say the number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is too high and they are repeating calls for everyone’s help to bend the curve.

The province recorded 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed active infections to 4,260.

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Of those, 313 people are hospitalized, including 71 in intensive care.

An additional 14 people died in the past day, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 1,168.

Twenty-two new cases were reported in the Island Health region, which now has 210 active cases and 15 people in hospital. Five people are in intensive care. There have been 19 COVID-related deaths in the region to date.

Passengers on two recent flights to the Island are being warned about possible exposure to COVID-19.

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control has added Air Canada/Jazz 8261 from Vancouver to Nanaimo on Jan. 20 and Air Canada/Jazz 8081 from Vancouver to Victoria on Jan. 22 to its COVID-19 exposure list.

Passengers should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, the BCCDC says. Those who were sitting in rows 3 to 9 on flight 8261, and rows 10 to 16 on flight 8081 are considered to be at a higher risk of exposure.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, chills, cough or worsening of chronic cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste, runny nose, headache and fatigue.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a joint statement that the number of new cases is “much higher” than they would like.

“We are asking for everyone’s help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province,” they said.

“With each new case, we have the opportunity to stop the virus in its tracks, break the chains of transmission and bring our numbers down. Each of us has the ability to do that.”

Most transmission happens when people spend time with people outside of their household or work or school bubble, they said

“That is why staying small and equally important, avoiding all unnecessary travel, is what we need to do right now.”

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