testing

A health-care worker prepares a swab at a COVID-19 testing site in Quebec earlier this year. The number of people infected by the disease in the region served by Interior Health rose by seven between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Seven of B.C.'s 47 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday occurred in the Interior Health region.

That number is consistent with the IH region's share of B.C.'s total population, which suggests the pandemic is not currently spreading here at an unusually fast rate.

No new community exposures have been reported in the IH region. The last such exposure, in Kelowna, was reported to have occurred on July 20.

There have been no deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C. since last Friday, and only nine people are being treated for the disease in hospital, with the vast majority of 351 people currently affected recovering at home.

Nevertheless, health officials are urging continued public vigilance to try prevent the spread of COVID-19, and they say the disease will remain in B.C. for the foreseeable future.

"As COVID-19 remains in our communities, so does the anxiety and stress that comes with the uncertainty, the increased isolation, and the need to take precautions in everything we do," Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a joint statement.

"Younger people in particular may not fully understand why many of the activities they normally enjoy are no longer available, look different, and require us to interact with each other in new ways," they say.

"We remind people to take the time to check in with your friends, family, and neighbours, young and old, to provide a mental health boost and to ensure they have the support we all need - especially for those who may be self-isolating," they say.

More than 1,000 British Columbians were told to self-isolate after their potential exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 during early July in and around downtown Kelowna.