The Minister of Health in British Columbia issued a somber message the weekend after the province recorded its highest ever number of active COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
“This pandemic… that we are all so very tired of will be going on, we would expect well into 2021, into 2022,” said Adrian Dix at a press briefing Monday to provide an update on three days worth of new cases.
On Saturday, August 15, there were 100 new cases reported over a 24 hour period, marking the highest number of new cases ever recorded by provincial health officials in a single day.
The province currently has 743 active cases of COVID-19—a higher number than B.C. has ever had at any point during the pandemic thus far.
A further 2,286 people are currently in isolation after having been exposed to the virus.
The majority of cases are still linked to private parties and gatherings. Minister Dix has hinted that stronger enforcement measures to prevent transmission at such events will be announced later this week by Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
“One public exposure that we have put on our website is related to an outdoor event… but the number of transmissions that have been reported in purely outdoor settings has been very limited,” said deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson.
“The vast amount of transmission is occurring through close prolonged contact, especially in indoor settings,” Gustafson.
According to Gustafson, there has been a rapid increase in demand for COVID-19 testing at designated testing sites over the past week.
Health authorities have reported delays in providing testing to those who need it right away, and are working to ramp up capacity.