The map

Figures released Thursday by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control show there have been 409 COVID-19 cases in the greater Kelowna area. This map shows the case counts for other regions of the Okanagan.

A total of 409 residents of the Central Okanagan have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Greater Kelowna accounts for 80 per cent of all cases reported in the Okanagan, new data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows.

Of the 505 cases confirmed in the Okanagan, 48 are in the Vernon area, 27 are in the Penticton area, 12 are in the South Okanagan, and nine are in Summerland.

The BC CDC releases detailed virus counts for specific communities only once a month.

The Central Okanagan has a population of 205,000, so the latest figures from the BC CDC indicate 0.2 per cent of local residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 1,130 British Columbians - including 34 in the region served by Interior Health - tested positive for COVID-19 between Tuesday and Thursday.

Of the new cases, 93% were in either Fraser Health or Vancouver Coastal Health.

There are now 5,793 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 155 people are being treated for the disease in hospital, most of them in the Lower Mainland.

Four more people died - three in long-term care facilities and the fourth an older person living in the community - bringing the death toll to 288.

With cases on the upswing, Henry said the virus transmits more easily in the fall and winter. That's partly because more people are spending time indoors, she said, but also because the virus is more active in cooler weather.

"The weather conditions, the climate conditions, make it easier for the virus to spread," Henry said.

"We're seeing that around the world. This is not unique to B.C.," she said. "We're seeing it across this country. We're seeing it in Europe, in all of the northern hemisphere."

"We need to pay attention to the fact that we are learning more about this virus and the safety measures we may have had in place before may not be adequate any more," she said.

For example, Henry said it's now known that some indoor exercise classes have been superspreaders, with a single infected person passing the disease onto hundreds of others in what she said was a "cascading" effect.