Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:
“Today, we are announcing 25 new cases, for a total of 1,724 cases in British Columbia.
“Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 707 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 715 are in the Fraser Health region, 109 are in the Island Health region, 153 are in the Interior Health region and 40 are in the Northern Health region.
“We are saddened to report one new COVID-19 related death in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, for a total of 87 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones.
“There have been no new outbreaks in long-term care and assisted-living facilities the last day. In total, 20 facilities and one acute-care unit have active outbreaks, with outbreaks declared over at six care facilities.
“An outbreak has been identified at the United Poultry Company in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. To date, 28 employees have been confirmed positive through active contact tracing by public heath. Close contacts have been notifed and ordered to self-isolate. The plant has been closed to slow further transmission, and public health teams are providing support.
“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of food products. According to CFIA, there is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission for the virus. Therefore, no recall of chicken products distributed from this plant is required. Good hygiene practices should still be followed during food handling and preparation, such as:
- washing hands with soap and water;
- regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces;
- cooking meat thoroughly; and
- avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.
“Fraser Health continues to work with Correction Services Canada to manage the outbreak at the Mission Institution federal correctional centre, which now has 76 cases of COVID-19.
“A reminder that anyone who was at Kearl Lake project, near Fort McMurray, Alta., from March onward is ordered by the provincial health officer to immediately self-isolate for 14 days and contact your primary care provider, 811 or local public health team.
“To date, 1,041 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation.
“Of the total COVID-19 cases, 109 individuals are hospitalized, and 51 of those are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
“Our goal is to do all we can to limit the potential for transmission and minimize the impact of necessary public health measures.
“Throughout B.C., you have stepped up. Despite the hardships, you have recognized the importance of maintaining safe physical distance, being mindful of those around you, keeping our communities strong and showing compassion and care.
“Even though you may be feeling the strain, we need everyone to keep going. We are at an important crossroads with our COVID-19 response. Every day counts, and every action you take makes a difference.
“Many are looking ahead and thinking about getting back to work. Now is the time to start thinking about how you can do that safely with precautions in place.
“Our focus is to ensure the storm has lessened, so that our workers, entrepreneurs and business owners can join the essential workers who have done so much these past weeks to keep our economy going.
“Let’s stay vigilant, connected and committed. We will get through this by remaining united and working together in our common purpose to flatten the curve.”
To learn where, when and how people with symptoms can be tested, visit:
The COVID-19 self-assessment app, which includes details about where, when and how to be tested, can be downloaded here: https://bc.thrive.health/
For information on how returning travellers can submit self-isolation plans, visit:
For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
For the provincial health officer's orders, notices and guidance, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/phoguidance
For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community from COVID-19, visit: www.bccdc.ca/
For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:
For a Chinese translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/2020.04.21_New_ExistingCasesCOVID-19_CN.pdf
For a French translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/2020.04.21_New_ExistingCasesCOVID-19_FR.pdf
A backgrounder follows.