Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced 142 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with the first confirmed case of a rare inflammatory disorder linked to the disease.

There have been no new deaths connected to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Henry said Thursday, leaving the provincial death toll from the disease at 250.

The latest numbers bring the total number of active cases to 1,494, of whom 74 are in hospital, including 24 in intensive care, which means 10 fewer people were in hospital with the disease than a day earlier.

Henry’s update included the first confirmed case of multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare condition found in children, that has been linked to COVID-19 through laboratory tests.

“The child is fully recovered,” Henry said.

MIS-C has clinical similarities to Kawasaki Disease, with symptoms including fever, abdominal pain, rashes, conjunctivitis and inflammation around the mouth, hands and feet.

Henry said the case is a good reminder that while COVID-19 is generally less severe in children, no age group is immune from suffering serious illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

A day earlier, the provincial Health Ministry said that it was investigating 16 suspected cases of MIS-C, but Henry said that none of those children have tested positive for COVID-19.

Outbreak at FedEx outlet in Kelowna

Thursday’s update also included a new community outbreak at a FedEx office near the Kelowna airport. According to Interior Health, three staff members have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and six are in isolation, and no members of the public have been exposed.

There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, leaving 17 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and two in acute care units of hospitals. A total of 921 people are currently affected by those outbreaks.

Public health workers are now monitoring 3,683 people across the province who are close contacts of known COVID-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, 9,016 tests were completed, of which 1.5 per cent were positive.

Henry took the opportunity Thursday to urge members of the public to get their flu shots if possible. She said sooner is better than later, but it’s best to be vaccinated by late October or early November.

“We monitor very carefully for influenza, and so far rates have been very low in our community, so we’re not yet into that season,” she said.

Though demand has been unusually high this year and some pharmacies are already reporting running out of the vaccine, Henry said supplies will be replenished throughout the season.

Meanwhile, the public learned Wednesday the B.C. Supreme Court has rejected an application from a pair of dads seeking stricter COVID-19 safety measures in schools. 

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster had asked for an injunction that would have required the province to implement mandatory masks and physical distancing in classrooms, but Justice Jasvinder Basran said the B.C. government’s current guidelines are “firmly rooted in current scientific knowledge and best practices.”

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