BC reaches 27 hundred cases

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VICTORIA - 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 16 new cases who have tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 2,709 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 187 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,354 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 12 individuals are hospitalized, three 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 922 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,396 in the Fraser Health region, 130 in the Island Health region, 196 in the Interior Health region and 65 in the Northern Health region. This includes a data correction of one less case in the Northern Health region.

"There has been one new COVID-19 related death in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, for a total of 168 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, five long-term care or assisted-living facilities continue to have active outbreaks.

"There have been no new community outbreaks and public health teams continue to provide support for the six ongoing community outbreaks.

"We have been monitoring our COVID-19 restart activities closely and are modifying our approach as we move forward. This includes amending the provincial health officer's order for food and liquor service establishments to make restaurants and pubs safer for employees and patrons.

"The amended order goes step in step with enhanced worker guidance that is now available on the WorkSafeBC website.

"The requirements for this sector have been adjusted in response to small clusters of new cases in businesses, as employees spend more time together and in recognition that a safe number of patrons is highly dependent on the amount of space within each location, not the restaurant capacity.

"The best way for us to avoid spreading the virus is to ensure everyone, employees and patrons, have the space to stay safe.

"Food service owners need to remember that protecting your employees and patrons requires layers of protection in the kitchen and in the dining area. Plans need to include such things as frequent handwashing, increased cleaning, using barriers in kitchens and dining areas, and giving lots of space between tables.

"For patrons going to your local establishment, complete your checklist before going out and when you arrive. Are you healthy? Is your group small? Is the WorkSafeBC safety plan clearly posted? Are physical distancing measures and barriers in place?

"We all want to stay safe and we all have a role to play. The decisions we make and the actions we take will protect our communities and allow us to continue to progress."