New COVID-19 death reported in Island Health, bringing total to date to 6

A sixth person with COVID-19 has died in the Island Health region, according to data from the province.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said B.C. recorded 267 cases of COVID-19 between Friday and Monday, and three more people died, bringing the number of deaths attributed to the virus to 233. One of the deaths was in the Island Health region, which has now had six COVID-19 deaths.

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There have been 206 confirmed cases in Island Health, up two from Friday. Five of the cases are active, but none is in hospital.

At her daily briefing, Henry said rumours and misinformation should be replaced with facts when it comes to potential exposure to COVID-19 among students.

Henry is encouraging parents to recognize that so-called exposure events do not mean their child has been exposed to the illness.

Parents should not worry unless someone from public health has contacted them, she said.

Henry said there have been no transmissions or outbreaks of COVID-19 at schools and health authorities follow up individually with anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

There have been some exposures among students who have been hanging out in groups during breaks or after school, so parents should tell their children to stay in their cohorts, she said.

The health authority has not reported any exposures in Island schools.

Henry said not everyone in a household has to be tested when there is a possible case of COVID-19 in a family.

“For the most part, if you’re a sibling of a contact, you don’t need to stay home,” she said, adding there should not be any expectations for an entire class to be informed in that situation for privacy reasons.

Henry said a limited return to school sports is being considered, though teams would initially be playing within a region and close-contact sports like wrestling would be excluded.

Halloween events will also have to be done differently this year, with a focus on small gatherings outside and no one being required to sing for their treats, she said.

B.C. has had 8,908 cases since the start of the pandemic, and 7,346 people have recovered from COVID-19.

Note to readers: There were two new confirmed cases in Island Health over the weekend. A previous version of this story said there was one.

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