"Much of the recent transmission is connected to social gatherings."

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Dr. Réka Gustafson, B.C.'s deputy provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are reporting 299 new cases, including four epi-linked cases, for a total of 15,800 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 3,017 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 6,888 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 12,430 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Currently, 92 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 22 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4,993 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 9,234 in the Fraser Health region, 270 in the Island Health region, 788 in the Interior Health region, 425 in the Northern Health region and 90 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There have been three new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 272 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at Belvedere Care Centre. In total, 27 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

"There has been one new community outbreak at Capella Dance Academy. There continue to be exposure events around the province. Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control's (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities' websites.

"Our goal for the COVID-19 pandemic is to continue to minimize severe illness, death and social disruption in our communities. The more we learn about the virus, the better we are able to manage all three of these important objectives.

"As part of this, we all need to understand the risks in our local communities and adjust our activities if that risk increases.

"Today, much of the recent transmission is connected to social gatherings. That is why it is so important to keep our groups small.

"This is particularly important in the Fraser Health region where public health teams are asking everyone to avoid all social gatherings in your home right now - even those that are within the restrictions of the provincial health officer order.

"Keeping our communities well means keeping them safe. It is about ensuring we have capacity within our health-care system, protecting those who are most vulnerable and continuing what's important to our well-being in safe, responsible ways."