34 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. – total now 1,370; 2 more deaths – total 50

“Let’s make it an ‘unwind and be kind’ weekend at home”

HEALTH Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on  Thursday announced 34 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 1,370 cases in British Columbia.

Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 626 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 508 are in the Fraser Health region, 82 are in the Island Health region, 130 are in the Interior Health region and 24 are in the Northern Health region.

There were two more COVID-19 related deaths, one in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and one in Fraser Health region, for a total of 50 deaths in British Columbia.

There have been no new long-term care outbreaks in the last day, and the outbreak at Villa Cathay facility has been declared over. Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health teams continue to provide support to the 20 remaining affected long-term care and assisted-living facilities, which have a combined 235 cases of COVID-19.

To date, 858 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 132 individuals are currently hospitalized, 68 of those are in intensive care and the remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Dix and Henry said: “To flatten the curve, we must ensure our health system is robust and fully able to address the unparalleled challenges of COVID-19. We must also take care of our front-line workers so they can care for us, protect and support our most vulnerable, and do all we can to keep our firewall strong.

“This is a challenging time for all of us – physically, emotionally and mentally – especially when our meaningful connections are virtual connections. There are many resources available and, as the Province announced today, more are on the way. If you are struggling and need help, please reach out.

“This holiday weekend is not the time for travel, unless absolutely necessary. Rather, let’s make it an ‘unwind and be kind’ weekend at home. There are lots of things we can do to relax, have fun and connect with family, friends and our local community at a safe distance.

“Residents at long-term care and assisted-living homes are very vulnerable to COVID-19. One of the most important things we can do to protect them, and those caring for them, is to make it possible for workers to provide services at a single facility, reducing the risk of virus transmission between facilities.

“Using orders under the Public Health and Emergency Programs acts, we have implemented a process to support workers to work at a single facility. This includes development of a new labour agreement that ensures all workers – at health authority, non-profit and private facilities – receive an equitable wage and work-hours scheduling stability so they can work at a single site without disrupting services for residents.

“Long-term care and assisted living care-giving and support staff are responding courageously to monumental challenges during this unprecedented time, and deserve our respect and support.”