VICTORIA - Health officials say more COVID-19 cases have been linked to community clusters related to social gatherings and a ski resort in British Columbia's Interior.
The Interior Health authority says in a news release that 46 new cases linked to a cluster first identified Jan. 20 in the Williams Lake area have been identified.
Thirteen staff at Cariboo Memorial Hospital have also tested positive, but Interior Health says the hospital is safe to visit for appointments or emergency care.
A total of 314 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the region since New Year's Day and the health authority says most transmission occurred at recent social events and gatherings.
Interior Health also says an additional 11 cases have been linked to a community cluster at Big White Ski Resort, bringing the total cluster of cases to 225.
It says 21 cases there are active and three of those who recently tested positive live or work at the resort. "Everyone is reminded that socialization must be limited to immediate household bubbles. Please do not invite friends or extended family to your residence for a visit or gathering," Interior Health says in the statement.
Provincial health officials say the number of daily cases of COVID-19 is too high and repeated calls for everyone's help to bend the curve.
The province recorded 407 cases Tuesday, bringing the total number of active infections to 4,260.
Among those, 313 people are hospitalized, including 71 in intensive care.
An additional 14 people died in the past day and the death toll in B.C. from COVID-19 rose to 1,168.
Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry say in a joint statement that now is the time for anyone who has put aside public health precautions to join or rejoin efforts to stop the spread.
They say it is especially critical with the presence of variant strains of COVID-19 in B.C.
"For the many who have been doing your part, you may be asking 'What more can I do?'" Dix and Henry say in the joint statement.
"Be the voice of support and encouragement for those who may be wavering in their resolve."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.