"You are part of our BC COVID-19 team"

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VICTORIA - 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 694 new cases of COVID-19, including four epi-linked cases, for a total of 35,422 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 9,103 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 325 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 80 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Currently, 10,849 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 24,928 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Since we last reported, we have had 114 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 465 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 10 in the Island Health region, 82 in the Interior Health region, 23 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There have been 12 new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 481 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have had three new health-care facility outbreaks at Baillie House, Gateway Lodge and University Hospital of Northern British Columbia. The COVID-19 community cluster in the broader Salmo area is now contained.

"Our focus with COVID-19 is to understand the risks: where, how and with whom transmission is occurring, and based on this information, put measures in place to protect everyone in the province.

"As vaccines become available, they will be our first step to protect people from severe illness and death. But right now, we must use all of our layers of protection, combined with the orders and restrictions, to slow the spread and keep people safe.

"We understand that the orders have an impact on our daily lives and well-being, and we are working to balance that with the need to protect our communities and those who are most vulnerable.

"What we know is that gatherings of any kind are higher risk for all of us right now because we have seen the virus move quickly and easily between us. That is why, other than work or school, we need to stay small and stay local right now.

"Thank you to the many people throughout our province who are doing their part and helping to protect all of us. You may feel that you are just one, but remember that you are part of our B.C. COVID-19 team, and through your effort you will help us get through this pandemic."