The desire to socialize among many people in British Columbia fits well with the survival requirements of the COVID-19 virus.

As people continue to get out and enjoy the summer by mingling at parties and barbeques or enjoying good times at the bar, the surge in COVID-19 cases continues.

On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 131 new virus cases in the province from last Friday until yesterday afternoon.

“Today, we are providing case updates for three 24-hour reporting periods. In the first reporting period from August 7-8, we had 50 new cases; August 8-9 we had 37 new cases; and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 44 new cases.”

The number of new cases turning up is prompting Dr. Henry to speak directly about the behavior that’s behind the recent uptick in infections.

“If you are invited to a party or social event, and something doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t right for you or for your friends. It only takes one person with COVID-19 to cause a surge in new cases and for hundreds of people to be in self-isolation.

Dr. Henry adds: “If you’re at a nearby patio and the location is crowded, keep walking and choose another spot instead. Now is not the time to bend the rules, but to stay safe by playing safe.

A total of 4,065 COVID-19 cases have now been reported in BC and there are presently 445 active cases in the province.

On Vancouver Island, one new positive test raises the total to 148 coronavirus cases in the Island Health Region.

Two new health-care facility outbreaks are reported at New Vista Care Home and at George Derby Centre in the Fraser Health region.

While there are no new community outbreaks, there continue to be community exposure events around the province and on flights in and out of BC.

As the start of the new school year approaches, provincial health officials acknowledge the concerns among parent,

Yesterday’s joint statement from Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix says the restart activities and spending more time with others is a “source of anxiety.”

Especially so for parents and families worried about the restart of in-class learning this fall.

They sought to reassure parents that the plan to send children back to school is sound.

“Each school and school district are now taking the plan that has been developed and applying it to their schools, ensuring the layers of protection are there from the first day to the last day of the school year.”

They say limiting time with others, using one-way pathways, cleaning more, washing hands regularly, and staying home if a student or teacher is feeling unwell are important measures that will be used in BC’s schools.