68 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.; no new deaths

ADRIAN Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Réka Gustafson, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, on Wednesday announced 68 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for a total of 4,745 cases in British Columbia.

There were no new COVID-19-related deaths, and the total number of deaths in the province remains at 198.

There are 798 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 2,452 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 3,749 people who tested positive have recovered.

Currently, 10 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, four 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 1,488 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 2,493 in the Fraser Health region, 158 in the Island Health region, 411 in the Interior Health region, 120 in the Northern Health region and 75 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. The outbreak at Richmond Lions Manor has been declared over. In total, eight long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility have active outbreaks.

There are no new community outbreaks. However, community exposure events continue.

Alerts are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website, as well as on health authorities’ websites, providing details where potential exposure has occurred and what actions to take – whether you need to immediately self-isolate or monitor for symptoms.

Dix and Gustafson said: “Testing for COVID-19 is an important part of our provincial pandemic response. We continue to step up the capacity, in each health region and in our labs, to match our public health activities.

“Testing allows us to trace and contain the spread. The tests tell us who is positive for the virus, as well as how far the virus may have spread among close contacts when an outbreak or community cluster occurs.

“We know as the number of new cases increases, demand for testing also goes up. That is why each health region has been working to add further assessment and testing capacity. New assessmemt and testing centres and extended hours of service have been added in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions to address increases in demand. Today, we have the ability to complete approximately 8,000 tests every day.

“Right now, anyone with symptoms can be tested, but it is important to remember the test is recommended only if you have symptoms.

“If you do develop symptoms, no matter how mild, your first step is to distance yourself from others and contact 811 or your health-care provider to arrange for an assessment.

“If public health has advised you to self-isolate because you have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow their advice. Even if you have no symptoms, a negative test does not mean you can shorten the period of self-isolation.

“While those who are younger are less likely to face severe illness, it is easy to inadvertently pass the virus on to someone who may be only a few years older, but much more vulnerable.

“As a result, the best thing we can do is to protect ourselves and those we care about most by assessing the risks before we spend time with others and always using our layers of protection.

“COVID-19 has meant doing things we have never done before. But let’s not forget this is not forever, only for now. Let’s continue to stay strong and push our curve down to where it belongs.”