About 3,000 people in B.C. under COVID-19 monitoring, 97 new positive cases

VICTORIA — British Columbia reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as the province extended its state of emergency until the end of September.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says government and public health officials are doing what they can to fight the pandemic, but individual responsibility will play a major role when it comes to preventing the spread of the virus this fall.

The statement of emergency allows government to take extraordinary measures in response to the pandemic.

Farnworth says in a statement that since the province authorized enforcement of public health measures last month, 14 tickets have been issued, including eight $2,000 fines for property owners and event organizers and six $200 fines for individuals.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are also urging B.C. residents to limit their social interactions in order to break the chains of transmission of the illness.

They say in a joint statement that a 14th health-care facility has been added to the list of those with active outbreaks.

The latest is at OPAL by Element, an assisted-living facility in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, which joins 10 other care homes and three acute-care facilities with ongoing outbreaks.

Dix and Henry say there are 1,590 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and no one has died in the past day, while 5,548 people who tested positive have recovered.

There are 63 people in hospital, including 20 in intensive care, and public health workers are monitoring just over 3,000 because they've been exposed to an active case.

B.C. has confirmed 7,376 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press