Another record of COVID-19 cases


 Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are reporting 589 new cases, including five epi-linked cases, for a total of 17,149 cases in British Columbia.

That includes 24 new cases in Interior Health. 

The provincial health officer has called a news conference for Saturday, an unusual weekend occurrence for Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The statement gives no hint about what will be announced, although Henry did say earlier this week that they were consulting with regional health authorities on more specific restrictions as case counts rise.

AM 1150 will carry the news conference live at 1 o'clock. 

"There are 3,741 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 7,887 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 13,035 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Currently, 104 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 28 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"There have been two new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 275 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There have been six new health-care facility outbreaks at Suncreek Village, Fort Langley Seniors Community, Northcrest Care Centre, Fellburn Care Center - PATH unit, Ridge Meadows Hospital and Langley Memorial Hospital. The outbreak at Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge has been declared over. In total, 31 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and four acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

"Keeping businesses open is important to all of us and we can all take confidence in knowing the vast majority of businesses are doing all they can to keep their employees and customers safe throughout the province. This has allowed us to have as much as possible open in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As we have done with many sectors, public health teams are continually reviewing guidance and working with individual business owners to help navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and continue to operate safely.

"When faced with the gathering storm clouds of increased exposures and transmission in a particular sector, we step up inspections to identify gaps and, at times, increase the safety measures that are required. Only if it is clearly demonstrated that a business or sector is unable to operate safely are businesses ordered to close.

"Right now, particularly in the Lower Mainland, we are asking businesses to review their COVID-19 safety plans to ensure every step is being taken to protect everyone.

"For employees and customers, you can also do your part and help businesses to stay open by staying away if you are feeling unwell, using a mask when indoors and not asking businesses or their employees to bend the rules.

"We have one COVID-19 curve in B.C., and we all have a role to play to get through this storm and push our curve back down."

-- with files from CTV News --