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British Columbia’s COVID-19 numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction.
Today, the province announced 85 new cases of the virus over the past 24 hours, the highest daily increase since March 25 and the third highest since the start of the pandemic.
"The pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for our province,” said a release from the provincial government.
“The majority of these cases are young people in the Lower Mainland and their exposures have been at events in the community. The cases we are seeing today reflect exposures from a week to 10 days ago.”
A significant number of cases are also linked to travel from out of province, the daily release says.
There are now 531 active cases of COVID-19 in BC, while 3,469 people have fully recovered and another 196 people have died, which includes one new death reported today.
That equals a total of 4,196 cases in the province since the pandemic began.
On a positive note, only eight people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in BC, five of them in intensive care.
No new health-care facility or community outbreaks have been reported, but there continue to be community exposure events throughout the province and on a number of flights.
"We need to refocus on measures to flatten the curve of infection and protect British Columbians as we help our province recover," said today's release.
"One of the most effective ways to keep people safe is through contact tracing, which starts with each person who has tested positive for COVID-19 understanding who their contacts may be to provide appropriate follow up and stop further transmission."
Earlier today, the province announced that it is hiring 500 new health professionals to bolster the capacity to effectively contact trace across BC.
"We are watching the cases climb, which is concerning. We need everyone to recommit to using the skills we've learned," today's release added.
"Keep gatherings small, have a designated 'contact keeper,' limit time with others, maintain physical distance and always stay home if you're feeling unwell."
Here's how the current number of COVID-19 cases breaks down by health region:
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