589 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.; 2 more deaths

PROVINCIAL Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Friday announced 589 new COVID-19 cases, including four epi-linked cases, for a total of 17,149 cases in British Columbia.

There were two new COVID-19-related deaths, and the total number of deaths in the province now stands at 275.

There are 3,741 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 7,887 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 13,035 people who tested positive have recovered.

Currently, 104 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 28 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 146 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 402 in the Fraser Health region, five in the Island Health region, 24 in the Interior Health region, 12 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been six new health-care facility outbreaks at Suncreek Village, Fort Langley Seniors Community, Northcrest Care Centre, Fellburn Care Center – PATH unit, Ridge Meadows Hospital and Langley Memorial Hospital. The outbreak at Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge has been declared over. In total, 31 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and four acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

There has been one new community outbreak at the Royal Inland Hospital construction site. 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.

The BCCDC has implemented a texting service for new cases of COVID-19. People in B.C. can now sign up to receive text notification of both positive or negative test results, in addition to test results being available through Health Gateway and other online portals. For more information, go to: www.bccdc.ca/results

Henry and Dix added: “Keeping businesses open is important to all of us and we can all take confidence in knowing the vast majority of businesses are doing all they can to keep their employees and customers safe throughout the province. This has allowed us to have as much as possible open in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we have done with many sectors, public health teams are continually reviewing guidance and working with individual business owners to help navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and continue to operate safely.

“When faced with the gathering storm clouds of increased exposures and transmission in a particular sector, we step up inspections to identify gaps and, at times, increase the safety measures that are required. Only if it is clearly demonstrated that a business or sector is unable to operate safely are businesses ordered to close.

“Right now, particularly in the Lower Mainland, we are asking businesses to review their COVID-19 safety plans to ensure every step is being taken to protect everyone.

“For employees and customers, you can also do your part and help businesses to stay open by staying away if you are feeling unwell, using a mask when indoors and not asking businesses or their employees to bend the rules.

“We have one COVID-19 curve in B.C., and we all have a role to play to get through this storm and push our curve back down.”