Only 8 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.; 4 more deaths

ADRIAN Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, on Tuesday announced that there were only eight new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 2,232 cases in British Columbia.

There were four new COVID-19 related deaths, three in the Fraser Health region and one in Vancouver Coastal Health region, for a total of 121 deaths in the Province.

Health region-wise, the breakup for patients with COVID-19: 849 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,031 in the Fraser Health region, 124 in the Island Health region, 177 in the Interior Health region and 51 in the Northern Health region.

In the last day, there has been one new long-term care facility outbreak at Evergreen House in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and two outbreaks at acute-care units at Ridge Meadows and Richmond Hospitals. In total, 17 facilities and five acute-care units have active outbreaks, with outbreaks now declared over at 17 care facilities.

Public health teams are also providing support to a number of community outbreaks, actively contact tracing those who may be directly affected and their close contacts.

There are seven confirmed positive cases at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, 55 at Superior Poultry in Coquitlam and 35 employees confirmed positive at United Poultry in Vancouver.

There are also 134 inmates and staff confirmed positive at the Mission Institution federal correctional centre, as well as 15 positive cases of COVID-19 connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.

To date, 1,472 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 78 individuals are hospitalized, and 21 of those are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Dix and Henry said: “We have to be prepared that it will take some time for a vaccine to be developed and broadly available for everyone. Our current understanding is that it could be up to 18 months. Until that time, we must continue to hold the line on COVID-19, even as we gradually ease some restrictions. This is the balance that we must find together.

“We have put the brakes on COVID-19, but new cases and outbreaks persist. As the modelling has shown, moving too quickly can only cause harm to us all.

“Our ‘new normal’ practices apply to every person and every situation with no exception. They are our playbook for the weeks and months ahead.” These include:

* staying informed, being prepared and following public health advice;

* practising good hygiene – hand hygiene, avoid touching face and respiratory etiquette;

* no exceptions to staying at home and away from others if feeling ill – whether for school, work or socializing;

* maintaining physical distancing outside your household, for example, no hand shaking or hugging, keeping your number of contacts low and keeping a safe distance;

* making necessary contact safer with appropriate controls, e.g., using plexiglass barriers or redesigning spaces;

* increasing cleaning of frequently touched surfaces at home and work;

* considering the use of non-medical masks in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as on transit or while shopping; and

* continuing to reduce non-essential personal travel.

Dix and Henry added: “Keep this top of mind in everything you do. They are the guideposts for our path forward.

“Our shared health and well-being relies on all of us to be threads in a rope; side-by-side and far stronger all together, when we are physically apart.”