“We are on edge of increasing our social interactions too much and are at risk of a rebound”

HEALTH Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Monday warned British Columbians: “The epidemiological data shows some concerning upward trends: The infection rate for new cases is increasing above one to one, and we are also seeing an uptick in our case curve. This tells us that we are on edge of increasing our social interactions too much and are at risk of a rebound.”

They stressed: “We need to bend our curve back down to where it belongs.”

They announced 102 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province since last Friday. However, fortunately, there were no new deaths. The total number of deaths remains at 189.

In the first reporting period from July 17 to July 18, there were 51 new cases. From July 18 to July 19, there were 19 new cases, and in the last 24 hours, there have been a further 32 new cases. This represents 102 new cases, including four epi-linked cases since that were reported on Friday, for a total of 3,300 cases in British Columbia.

Dix and Henry said: “Public health teams have been very effective in containing the spread. We also need to do our part and be the voice with our friends and family to remind everyone about the steps to take to keep each other safe.

“We are asking everyone to use your connections and influence, whether on social media or in-person, to share the message to socialize safely.

“By playing safe and staying safe, let’s make sure COVID-19 doesn’t spoil our summer.

“There are a few things we can all do to push that curve back down. Keep your groups small and only spend time with those you know. The more people you see, the more likely someone will have COVID-19 and will spread it to others.

“If you are going out, be considerate of people who are working at the restaurants and pubs that you are visiting. Remember servers are at higher risk because of the many people they see, so be kind and show gratitude as they follow the WorkSafeBC requirements for safe operations. Ensure your groups are no larger than six people, avoid table-hopping and stay home if you are feeling unwell.

“If you are hosting a small gathering, remember ‘fewer faces and bigger spaces.’ Keep your gatherings small, know everyone who is coming, stay outside as much as possible and have a designated ‘contact keeper’ so you are able to quickly alert everyone afterward, if necessary.

“We all have a role to play in keeping our curve flat. Let’s continue to work together and do all we can to keep ourselves and each other safe. Let’s protect our communities, our Elders and our loved ones by standing united against COVID-19.”

Adrian Dix and (left) Dr. Bonnie Henry

There are 253 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,858 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 16 individuals are hospitalized, 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 1,042 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,713 in the Fraser Health region, 142 in the Island Health region, 280 in the Interior Health region, 69 in the Northern Health region and 54 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, one long-term care facility and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

There are several community exposure events. Public health teams are actively contact tracing and requesting the assistance of anyone who may have been exposed to monitor themselves closely and follow public health guidance.

Dix and Henry said: “Today, we release an early snapshot of the ‘Your story, our future’ survey, as well as the latest data on COVID-19 in British Columbia.

“The preliminary survey results show that almost half of British Columbians (47%) have experienced worsening mental health as a result of the pandemic. Many have also faced additional economic burden and the stress that comes with that.

“Notably, those aged 18 to 29 have experienced greater economic and mental health impact than the general population.

“We know the pandemic has created significant challenges for everyone, so we ask you to please ensure you are reaching out and connecting with those who may be more vulnerable.”