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Health officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region say the number of positive COVID-19 tests linked to an outbreak in Kelowna has grown to 13.

Interior Health says six more people have tested positive and their activities are linked to events that occurred in Kelowna’s waterfront district between June 25 and July 9.

Those are in addition to seven people who visited the city earlier this month and later tested positive for COVID-19, triggering the health authority’s alert.

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Health Minister Adrian Dix says possible exposures that occurred in the waterfront district are believed to stem from private parties held around Canada Day.

That has prompted a statement from Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran urging visitors to respect the advice of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and use appropriate “travel manners.”

Basran says visitors will come to Kelowna because travel restrictions are not in place, but he says people must take the health risk seriously and respect physical distancing rules and proper hygiene such as hand washing.

“We need to remain vigilant, because we’ve seen how quickly a few lapses in judgment can turn into a serious problem,” Basran says in his statement.

“It’s my hope that with everyone doing their part we all can enjoy Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley – just two metres apart.”

On Monday, health official announced 62 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 3,115.

Two more people have died for a total of 189 deaths, but 2,718 have fully recovered the health ministry says.

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the B.C. government has a couple of contingency scenarios they’re looking at as they head into the fall and into 2021 to prepare for further outbreaks of COVID-19. The Canadian Press

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