For the third straight day, British Columbia has seen its active case count reach a record-high, this time with 798 people who are considered infected with the respiratory virus.
On Wednesday, health officials announced in a written statement that 68 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the province’s latest 24-hour testing stretch. It’s a smaller increase compared to days prior, considering between Aug. 12-18 B.C. has reported at least 70 cases on six of seven occasions. However, before that recent stretch, the last time the province recorded at least 70 cases was on April 25.
The 798 active cases are part of a concerning upward case trend for the province. On July 19, the province had 242 people who were still considered infected, and just 178 on June 19. Before Aug. 17, it’s previous record-high for active cases was set on April 26 with 743.
B.C. health officials did not hold a press conference on Wednesday, but in recent weeks they’ve attributed the spike in cases to large gatherings, primarily among people under 40.
“The places where there’s the greatest danger is our private parties, where alcohol is involved and it’s inside,” said minister of health Adrian Dix on Monday. “Don’t hold private parties. Watch the Canucks with your bubble in the Stanley Cup run.”
Exposures due to gatherings have been a key concern for B.C. ever since two hotel parties around Canada Day in Kelowna led to dozens of cases around the province, as well as possible exposure warnings for a variety of businesses. Officials continue to ask B.C. residents to check the growing list of public exposure warnings as part of contact tracing efforts.
As of Wednesday, there are 2,452 people who are in self-isolation and are being monitored daily by health officials, since they’ve come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the respiratory virus.
Throughout the pandemic, there have been 4,745 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. That includes 198 people who have died and 3,749 resolved cases, since 45 more patients have recovered since Tuesday.