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B.C. records 908 new COVID-19 cases, Northern Health adds 78 to regional total

Province also adds 140 new variant-of-concern cases, three deaths
dr-bonnie-henry-government-of-bc
B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The trend continues.

In a written statement this afternoon (March 26), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 908 more positive tests for the virus, the second-highest single-day case count recorded in B.C. since the start of the pandemic, for a new grand total of 95,677. 

Of those infections, Northern Health added 78 for an updated authority total of 5,777 since March 2020.

There have been three more COVID-linked deaths, raising the province's toll to 1,449.

There are currently 6,245 active cases throughout B.C. with 294 people in hospital, 81 of which are admitted in ICU or critical care. Another 9,996 are under active public health monitoring due to being exposed to someone diagnosed with the virus.

A total of 87,866 cases are officially classified as recovered. 

B.C. officials also said there have been 140 newly-confirmed cases that are variants of concern. The total is now at 1,912 with 258 currently active.

There are 1,666 linked to the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), 47 linked to the South African variant (B.1.351) and 199 of the Brazil variant (P.1). 

While the province continues to see large speeds of transmission, the north appears to be heading in the wrong direction. 

According to the latest seven-day moving average data from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the positivity rate in the north is 16.1 per cent as of Wednesday (March 24).

That's nearly double the province's current overall rate at 8.5 per cent

The second-highest rate belongs to Fraser Health, currently sitting at 10 per cent and is the only other authority in double digits. 

Vancouver Coastal Health comes in at 8.3 per cent, while Island Health is at 3.9 per cent and Interior Health at five per cent. 

The numbers are also starting to increase again in Prince George. 

According to the latest Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence, Prince George recorded 39 cases from March 14-20, 2021. 

The data is released by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Prince George's local health area had been in the lower 30s weeks prior. 

Meanwhile, northwest region of Northern Health continues to struggle, especially Prince Rupert with 113 cases during the same time period. 

Peace River South sits at 74; its neighbour, Peace River North, saw 25 cases. 

In education, an up-to-date list of northern B.C. schools marked for a COVID-19 exposure event in the month of March, and listed with a self-monitoring period, is as follows:

  • D.P. Todd Secondary (SD57) - March 18-19, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends April 2, 2021
  • Telkwa Elementary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Muheim Memorial Elementary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-1, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Walnut Park Elementary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Moberly Lake Elementary (SD59) - March 8-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary School (SD52) - March 11-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • St. Joseph's School (Independent) - March 1-5, 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Spruceland Traditional Elementary (SD57) - March 12, 15-19, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends April 2, 2021
  • St. Joseph's School - Smithers (Independent) - March 1-5, 8-11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Valemount Secondary (SD57) - March 12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary School (SD82) - March 8-9, 11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) - March 12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Chief Matthews School (Independent) - March 11-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Notre Dame School (SD59) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 24, 2021
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) - March 15-17, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 31, 2021
  • Heather Park Elementary (SD57) - March 10, 11-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Notre Dame School (SD59) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 23, 2021
  • Ecole Roosevelt Park Community School (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Lax Kxeen Elementary (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021 
  • Pacific Coast School (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring ends March 26, 2021
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) - March 5, 8-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Kildala Elementary (SD82) - March 12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Cassie Hall Elementary (SD82) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring periods ends March 26, 2021
  • William Konkin Elementary (SD91) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Mount Elizabeth Secondary (SD82) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Hazelton Secondary (SD82) - March 11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Ecole Roosevelt Park Community School (SD52) - March 9-11, 2021
    • Sel-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Charles Hays Secondary - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Charles Hays Secondary (SD52) - March 10-12, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 26, 2021
  • Kildala Elementary (SD82) - March 11, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 25, 2021
  • Chief Matthews School (Independent) - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Valemount Elementary (SD57) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 23, 2021
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 23, 2021
  • Lax Kxeen Elementary (SD52) - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) - March 8-10, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 24, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary (SD52) - March 8-9, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) - March 1-5, 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring periods ends March 22, 2021
  • Dawson Creek Secondary - South Peace campus (SD59) - March 5, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 19, 2021
  • Kildala Elementary (SD82) - March 8, 2021
    • Self-monitoring period ends March 22, 2021

In all instances, Northern Health's school-exposure section explains the following:

  • Contact tracing is initiated to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with
  • We identify and notify close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advise them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days
  • Only Public Health can determine who is a close contact
    • Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact
  • Public Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community

Throughout the course of the pandemic thus far, 25 Prince George-based schools have been warned for at least one COVID-19 exposure event, which includes 22 SD57 facilities and three private institutions.