British Columbia added another 142 COVID-19 cases to its tally Thursday, but saw a steep drop in hospitalizations.
There were 74 people in hospital provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a live briefing, down 10 from Wednesday.
A further 24 people remained in critical or intensive care.
Active cases, however, continued to climb, reaching 1,494, while another 3,683 people were in isolation due to possible exposure.
Once again, the vast majority of the new cases, 103, were in the Fraser Health region. Thirty-three were in the Vancouver Coastal health region, while the interior, Vancouver Island and the north saw two new cases each.
Henry said the province had also confirmed its first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.
The province first reported suspected cases of MIS-C, a rare condition that affects kids and is associated with COVID-19, in August.
But it wasn’t until this week that serology tests confirmed a child with symptoms had contracted COVID.
“The child has fully recovered and is at home,” Henry said, adding that the patient was younger than five.
“To date we have had 16 children who have been assessed for MIS-C but have not had any association with COVID-19, and in the assessment of the pediatricians much more aligned with what we normally see in Kawasaki syndrome in children — also a relatively new syndrome that’s associated with infectious illness in some cases.”
The exact cause of MIS-C is still being studied. Henry said it is diagnosed when a child or adolescent has been hospitalized with a fever for at least three days.
They must also display at least two of the following symptoms: Gastrointestinal issues, a rash, red or inflamed eyes or inflammation and swelling around the mouth, hands or feet.
Henry also reported one new community cluster in the Interior Health region ad a FedEx office near the Kelowna Airport.
Contact tracing was under way, and there was no risk to the public, Henry added.
The province’s death toll remained unchanged at 250.
Nearly 84 per cent of B.C.’s 11,034 cases have recovered.
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