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:
“We are announcing 43 new cases, for a total of 1,618 cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia.
“Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 680 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 661 are in the Fraser Health region, 94 are in the Island Health region, 150 are in the Interior Health region and 33 are in the Northern Health region.
“There have been no new outbreaks in the last day. In total, 20 long-term care and assisted-living facilities, and one acute-care unit have active outbreaks. Outbreaks have been declared over at five facilities, and in review, one facility had been included in error. We have confirmed that the outbreak at Broadway Pentecostal Lodge was an influenza outbreak and not COVID-19. The lodge has been removed from the list.
“There are now 63 cases of COVID-19 associated with the Mission Institution federal correctional centre, six of whom are in hospital. Fraser Health officials continue to work with Correction Services Canada to manage this outbreak.
“To date, 966 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation. Recovery criteria for the Vancouver Health Authority have been updated to more accurately reflect recovery. New methods include consideration for specific patient symptomology. This has resulted in the decrease in patients considered recovered.
“Of the total COVID-19 cases, 119 individuals are hospitalized and 52 of those are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
“Of note, the errors that occurred in the April 16 data have been corrected. The updated information is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control's (BCCDC) website and is reflected in today’s cumulative numbers.
“The modelling we released today clearly shows the resiliency and 100% commitment of everyone in B.C. is having a positive impact. We are bending the curve.
“People in B.C. have listened and done the right thing. We are grateful for what everyone has done.
“We are in the eye of the storm in a Category 5 hurricane. The risk is still very high and there are many unknowns, but we are hopeful that with all of us standing strong, the storm will continue to lessen.
“What happens next is directly tied to your continued efforts. We still have new cases, new outbreaks and tragically, new deaths. We cannot afford a resurgence that will undo all of the effort and sacrifices we have made so far.
“We all want opportunities for more social connection, but we’re not there yet. To safely ease restrictions, we must be thoughtful and careful in our approach. As we look ahead, we need to find the right balance. That is even more challenging because of the nature of the COVID-19 virus.
“Our new normal in the months ahead will be a modification of what we are doing now. The physical distancing measures, staying home if you are ill and following good hand hygiene will continue. And, it is vital that we continue to show care and compassion for those around us.
“The standards for essential businesses today will be the template as we move forward. Clear parameters will be given, and we will connect with individual sectors to determine how best to work within the requirements.
“We thank the many researchers and epidemiology experts at the BCCDC, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia for their collective efforts on the important modelling work. When you raise your voices for the 7 p.m. cheer, let’s take a moment to acknowledge their hard work and all of our continued commitment to standing together to safeguard our province.”
The latest modelling presentation and information is available online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/COVID19_Update_Modelling-BROADCAST.pdf
For information on how returning travellers can submit self-isolation plans, visit: gov.bc.ca/returningtravellers
For the latest medical updates, including case counts and information on how to protect yourself and your community, 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.
To use the online COVID-19 self-assessment tool or to download the app, visit: https://bc.thrive.health/
For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:
For a French translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/2020.04.17_New_ExistingCasesCOVID-19_FR.pdf
For a Chinese translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/2020.04.17_New_ExistingCasesCOVID-19_CN.pdf
A backgrounder follows.