BC tops 11,000 total infections
British Columbia announced another 142 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, pushing the province's total number of infections identified throughout the pandemic past 11,000.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also confirmed B.C.'s first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, a condition that's been associated with COVID-19 and causes symptoms ranging from prolonged fever to cardiac issues.
"This is a young child under five who has been diagnosed with MIS-C once their serology test came back positive for COVID-19 this week," Henry said. "The child has fully recovered and is now at home."
Officials previously investigated 16 other children for possible MIS-C, but none of them tested positive for COVID-19 or for COVID-19 antibodies. Henry said it's believed they suffered a similar condition called Kawasaki disease.
The latest COVID-19 infections, which include three epidemiologically linked cases, put the provincial total at 11,034.
Officials said no one had died from the disease since their last update on Wednesday, leaving the provincial death toll at 250, and another 145 people had recovered.
That left the number of active cases across B.C. at 1,494, a decrease of one case from the previous day.
The number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 also dropped to 74, down from 84 on Wednesday. The number of patients in intensive care or critical care units remained at 24.
Henry said there were no new outbreaks in health care facilities to announce, but that a new community cluster had been identified at a FedEx office near Kelowna International Airport.
"Public health teams are on site and working with the business," she said. "There is no risk to those in the public who are picking up packages, and there's contact-tracing underway right now."
Henry also exhibited a cough at multiple times during the news conference, but said it was due to "something in my throat today."
The provincial health officer also took the opportunity to mark International Hand-Washing Day, reminding people about the importance of cleaning their hands whenever they return home and before they eat.
"The simple act of cleaning our hands can make a big difference in our lives making sure that we are protecting ourselves and each other from COVID-19 but also many other illnesses," Henry said while encouraging people to "take a moment to refresh your good hand-washing techniques and habits."
- With files from CTV -