"How we make out this fall and winter is in our control"

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VICTORIA - Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and Stephen Brown, deputy minister of health, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are announcing 148 new cases, including 12 epi-linked cases, for a total of 8,543 cases in British Columbia. 

"There are 1,371 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,417 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 6,917 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Currently, 61 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 3,094 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 4,361 in the Fraser Health region, 203 in the Island Health region, 520 in the Interior Health region, 278 in the Northern Health region and 87 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

Interior Health reports five new cases overnight.

"There have been two new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 229 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at Banfield Pavilion and the outbreak at OPAL by Element assisted-living facility has been declared over. In total, nine long-term care or assisted-living facilities and five acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

"There have been no new community outbreaks, although there continue to be community exposure events.

"Public alerts and school notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control's (BCCDC) website, as well as on health authorities' websites, providing details on where the potential exposure occurred and what actions to take - whether to self-isolate or monitor for symptoms.

"How we make out this fall and winter is in our control. To ensure we are ready for the challenging respiratory season, now is the time to get back to basics with our COVID-19 safety precautions to allow us to push the curve back down.

"We can reduce our personal COVID-19 risks by using our layers of protection every day and remembering that the more people we see, the higher our risk will be.

"When deciding where to go and who to see, take a moment to think about both the risks you're going into and the risks you will be taking with you when you leave. This will help you determine what is safe for you and your family to do right now.

"We know that our elders, our seniors and anyone with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of severe illness, so if this is the case for you or someone in your household, taking a step back from social interactions at this time is even more important.

"For all of us, it is about knowing ourselves and our families, and finding the balance that will keep our communities strong and everyone - whether at school, work or home - as safe as possible.

"Show you care for your community, neighbours, friends and loved ones by doing your part today."