"Your choices make a difference"

Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announces new virus cases on April 18, 2020. (Province of BC/Flickr)

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 reporting 274 new cases, including one epi-linked case, for a total of 12,331 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 1,920 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 4,425 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 10,114 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Currently, 71 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 24 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 4,260 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 6,725 in the Fraser Health region, 249 in the Island Health region, 644 in the Interior Health region, 365 in the Northern Health region and 88 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 256 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 the Al Hogg Pavilion long-term care facility. The outbreak at Weinberg Residence has been declared over. In total, 18 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

"There have been no new community outbreaks. There continue to be exposure events around the province. Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control's (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities' websites.

"Social gatherings are where we are seeing significant transmission of COVID-19 in our province. Many of the new cases are linked to weddings, funerals and other important life occasions, and the impact is far reaching.

"The new cases stemming from social gatherings are now spilling over and causing clusters and outbreaks in long-term care facilities, workplaces and schools right across our province.

"Let's remember that when we come together with family and friends, we bring our risks with us and, in turn, they take those risks back home with them.

"This means that right now, every gathering, event or occasion needs to be small. We need to stick with our immediate household and safe six only.

"Now is the time to slow down, stay small and plan the party for next year; to show we care by keeping our friends and family off the invite list this fall and winter.

"Your choices make a difference. Let's choose to protect our communities and the ones we care for most."