“Let’s save the parties for when it is safe for everyone to celebrate”
DR. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, and Stephen Brown, Deputy Minister of Health, on Wednesday announced 287 new COVID-19 cases, including four epi-linked cases. The total number of cases is now 13,875 in British Columbia.
Sadly, there were two new COVID-19-related deaths, and the total number of deaths now stands at 261 deaths in the province.
There are 2,316 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 5,358 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 11,244 people who tested positive have recovered.
Currently, 87 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 25 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 4,545 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 7,863 in the Fraser Health region, 253 in the Island Health region, 727 in the Interior Health region, 399 in the Northern Health region and 88 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There has been a new health-care facility outbreak at PICS assisted-living facility. The outbreaks at Dr. Al Hogg Pavilion and at Delta Hospital have been declared over. In total, 21 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility have active outbreaks.
There has been one new community outbreak at the Okanagan Men’s Centre. There continue to be exposure events around the province. Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities’ websites.
Henry and Brown noted: “Our COVID-19 safety efforts start at home, and recently we have seen a number of new cases and clusters directly connected to social events in private homes. That is why there is now a provincial health officer order in place restricting the number of people who can safely be in our homes.
“The new order is about ensuring what happens in our homes is in step with what we are doing elsewhere. Just as we need to keep our groups to no more than six when we go to restaurants, we must also keep our groups small at home.
“We can still spend time with our friends and family, but right now we must all keep to our ‘safe six’ only or take our events outside, where it is far easier to maintain a safe physical distance.
“Let’s save the parties for when it is safe for everyone to celebrate. If you are planning a wedding in your home, make it your immediate family only and save the celebration for next year. If you are organizing a birthday party for your children, only invite those small number of friends from your close social circle, not the entire class or sports team. The things we do at parties and celebrations including talking, hugging and eating and drinking together indoors are much riskier than our normal school or work activities.
“And unlike our schools and workplaces, most homes do not have space for everyone to keep a safe distance from others, nor do our homes have the layers of protection – the physical barriers, one-way pathways and the use of masks – that are part of school and work COVID-19 safety plans.
“Now is the time for us to take a step back from our in-person social events and gatherings, and connect virtually instead. This will help to protect our loved ones, our seniors, Elders and our communities as we move forward.”