In a media release Thursday, Interior Health is reporting that there are four (4) additional COVID-19 cases since last report Wednesday, now for a 360 total in region since the start of the pandemic.
Interior Health said previously, the Kelowna cluster investigation counts were based on cases linked to businesses or gatherings in Kelowna, primarily downtown.
Currently IH is seeing more broad community transmission so it is expanding reporting to focus on any cases that are linked to Kelowna during their exposure or infectious period .
“This has caused the number of cases to increase but this is due to previously reported cases being re-classified and not new cases reported in Kelowna,” Interior Health said, adding there is not any additional staff cases at Kelowna General Hospital Thursday.
“Based on this, there are 130 cases linked to Kelowna since June 26 under this new classification.”
Interior Health said until now, officials have defined the number of cases associated with what has been called the “Kelowna cluster,” to cases connected directly to specific events and businesses downtown in early July and over the Canada Day holiday.
“We now know the situation has shifted into more broad community transmission beyond these initial cases in downtown Kelowna,” Interior Health said.
“For this reason, today IH’s MHOs will begin reporting the number of cases occurring across Kelowna, in addition to the cases they could confirm were associated with the early July events.
Interior Health said this new reporting will mean an increase in the cluster number – but IH wants to be clear — this is not an increase in the total number of cases.
“These are previously reported Interior Health cases being categorized differently,” Interior Health said.
Provincially, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, said Thursday that 29 new cases, for a total of 3,591 cases in British Columbia.
The province said there are 242 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 3,155 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Of the total COVID-19 cases, five individuals are hospitalized, two of whom are in intensive care,” Minister Dix and Dr. Henry said during Thursday’s media briefing.
“The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,076 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,865 in the Fraser Health region, 143 in the Island Health region, 360 in the Interior Health region, 86 in the Northern Health region and 61 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
Dr. Henry cautions the public not to relax during the BC Day Holiday weekend.
“ It is easy to socialize safely and that's what we all need to do this B.C. Day weekend,” Dr. Henry said.
“To do this, let's keep our groups small and keep a safe distance from others, no matter where we may be.
"The actions you take make a difference, so let's make this holiday a different holiday than what we saw in early July. What you do today and this weekend will determine what we are able to do in the weeks ahead - so let's all do the right thing."