"Be purposeful about who you are seeing"

COVID-19

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 COVID-19 response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are reporting 1,005 new cases, for a total of 117,080 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 10,081 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 15,877 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 105,291 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the active cases, 425 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 127 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since we last reported, we have had 259 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 536 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 49 in the Island Health region, 110 in the Interior Health region, 51 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There are currently 5,739 cases of COVID-19 that are confirmed variants of concern in our province. Of the total cases, 212 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 3,858 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 71 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 1,810 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

"There have been six new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 1,530 deaths in British Columbia.

"In B.C., 1,282,091 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, 87,970 of which are second doses.

"Spending time outside is important for our physical and mental well-being. But we have to remember that while being outside with others is much lower risk than being inside, it is not without risk.

"Even if we are outside, we need to stay small and continue to use our layers of protection. This means keeping a safe distance and wearing masks, especially if someone is higher risk for serious illness.

"Be purposeful about who you are seeing and where you are going, and stick with the same close contacts.

"If you choose to see a close friend for brunch on a patio, then make sure it is the same friend every time. If you decide to have a barbecue in your backyard, then keep to your roommates or family only. Or, if you visit your neighbourhood park with another family, then make it with only one other family and do activities that allow everyone to keep a safe distance from each other.

"It is easy to look for loopholes, but rather let's look for how we can keep each other safe.

"We need to stay local and stay in our neighbourhoods. We need to stay outside and with our same close friends. So let's all do our part this weekend so we can stop the spread and put COVID-19 behind us."