As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, B.C.’s provincial health officer is stressing vigilance to curb the spread of the virus.

This afternoon, Doctor Bonnie Henry announced 269 new cases over the past three days. 

This includes six new ones in the Island Health region, bringing the total to 166. 

Dr. Henry says that as we live with COVID-19, the goal is clear: to minimize new cases through our own personal safety measures.

“Those (are measures that) we take ourselves, to protect ourselves, our communities, and those around us,” she added. 

“We need to detect new cases as quickly as possible, and that speaks to the work we’re doing in public health around the province as well as ramping up our testing as we’ve been doing at testing sites around the province.”

She added that contact tracing is another key element in containing the virus.

“And that again, speaks to the work we do in public health to trace contacts, to make sure that we are connecting with those people who are at risk so they can be managed, and so that we can be away from others if we develop symptoms ourselves.”

Across B.C. the total of cases now sits at 5,184. 

There are now 913 active ones. 

There are also 18 people in the hospital, five of whom are in ICU. 

There was one new death in the Fraser Health region, bringing the total to 202 people who have died of COVID-19 in B.C.

A total of 2594 people are self-isolating and are being followed by public health officials 

On a brighter note, there was just one new health care outbreak from the weekend, but no new community outbreaks and 4,068 people have recovered.

Numbers by region:

Vancouver Coastal Health – 1651

Fraser Health – 2739

Vancouver Island – 166

Interior Health – 425

Northern Health – 127

Outside Canada – 76

Dr. Henry said despite the recent outbreaks and rising case numbers, we still have low undetected transmission in our province.

“We are able to find and connect most people who have this disease, but we want to keep it that way, we need to keep it that way as our summer continues and we look to the fall. It’s about finding that balance, being able to live with this virus, but ensuring we are doing what we can do to keep our society, our medical system, and our economy going.”

She added that we also must do our part to protect our most vulnerable including seniors and those with compromised immune systems.

Health Minister Adrian Dix noted that over the past five days, around 20,000 tests have been conducted province-wide, which is the “most significant five-day period of testing since the beginning of the pandemic.”