B.C. looks to boost testing as it reports 68 new coronavirus cases

There were no new coronavirus deaths in British Columbia Wednesday, but the province announced yet another 68 new cases.

Sixty-one of those cases were in the Lower Mainland.

It pushed the number of active cases in the province to a new record high of 798, with another 2,452 people self-isolating due to potential exposure to the virus.

Health officials also said Wednesday that they would be boosting testing capacity amid rising case numbers.

The province said it now has the capacity to conduct about 8,000 tests per day. However, just under 3,500 were performed between Tuesday and Wednesday.

A new test site opened in Vancouver Wednesday, and Vancouver Coastal Health said it was working to open another new site in North Vancouver.

2:02 COVID-19 cases hitting record highs in British Columbia, Alberta

COVID-19 cases hitting record highs in British Columbia, Alberta

Fraser Health says it has extended hours at sites in Burnaby, Delta and Chilliwack, and streamlined operations at a site in Langley and at the Surrey-Whalley urgent and primary care centre.

Two new drive-through lanes are planned for the Burnaby site, and it is preparing to extend hours at sites in Langley and Abbotsford.

New “temporary high-volume” testing sites are also being prepared in Surrey and the Fraser Northwest area, said the health authority.

Read more: B.C. teachers’ union wants more masks, smaller classes in COVID-19 plan

Ten people are in hospital with COVID-19, while four were in critical care.

B.C. has recorded 4,745 total cases of the virus, about 79 per cent of which have recovered.

The province’s death toll stands at 198.

2:03 Despite all the warnings, unsafe gatherings and parties continue in B.C.

Despite all the warnings, unsafe gatherings and parties continue in B.C.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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