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) in Washington state:
“We send our condolences to our neighbours in Washington state, especially to the families who have lost loved ones. We have offered our support to Washington state’s public health officials as we co-ordinate our response to COVID-19.
“While the risk of COVID-19 spreading within British Columbia remains low at this time, we continue our widespread testing by screening British Columbians, as well as travellers with symptoms and their close contacts, to identify cases of COVID-19 early.
“Quarantine officers are always available to support the Canadian Border Services Agency's screening conducted at land entries and airports.
“Given the intensity of the outbreak globally, we ask all travellers returning from Iran and China to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada. We ask all other travellers who are returning to, or visiting, B.C. from outside Canada to monitor themselves and their children closely for symptoms, and if any arise, to limit their contact with others and call 811.
“The most important measure anyone can take is preventing the transmission of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. This includes cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.
“It is also very important to stay home and away from others if you or members of your family are sick. This includes staying home from work or school, and postponing visits to long-term care facilities.
“Similar to how you may need to care for someone with influenza, you will want to ensure you have sufficient food, medications and support in place for you and your family to stay home for a number of days. These are the normal preparations when someone in your family is ill. There is no requirement for British Columbians to stockpile supplies.”
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19
For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the centre's website: http://www.bccdc.ca/