B.C. records 26 new cases of COVID-19, no deaths in 3 days

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are shown at a live COVID-19 update on April 21, 2020: (Province of B.C. / Flickr)

Health officials in British Columbia announced 26 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths related to the virus on Monday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the latest coronavirus numbers Monday, the first update since Friday, when 10 new cases of COVID-19 were reported.

A total of 174 people have died of the virus in B.C.

There remain 153 active cases of the virus in B.C., with 18 of those patients in hospital, including five in critical or intensive care.

The total number of cases of coronavirus reported in B.C. since the pandemic began is 2,904.

Of those, 979 were found in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 1,529 were located in the Fraser Health region.

On Vancouver Island, there have been 131 cases confirmed, while the Interior has seen 200 cases and the Northern Health region has seen 65 cases.

"As we move into this phase of our restart plan, we must remember that COVID-19 remains a risk for everyone," Henry said.

"One slip is all we need to cause a significant rebound and we have seen that happen in jurisdictions around us."

The provincial health officer said as businesses reopen, managers must remember they are responsible for keeping employees and patrons safe and could be held responsible for failing to do so.

Henry and Dix also warned travellers from other provinces and within B.C. to stay home if they are feeling unwell and to always maintain physical distance from others.

"Physical distancing saves lives," Dix said. "Whether you are travelling on an airplane from Toronto or anywhere else, physical distancing remains essential to our efforts."

The health minister reiterated that it's the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that Transport Canada's rules for air travel during the pandemic are being followed.

"We've had occasion in the past week where people have arrived with symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19," Henry added.

"We need people to be honest when they're answering the symptom questions and we need to make sure that we can screen people out from arriving in Canada, in B.C., in other parts of this country, with COVID-19."

On Friday, both Air Canada and WestJet announced the removal of seat distancing protocols on domestic flights starting July 1.

"What I'd like to hear from Transport Canada, and what I'd like to hear from Health Canada, is do they agree with this?" Dix said.

"It is absolutely within their jurisdiction to deal with," he added. "So if what they're saying is what Air Canada and WestJet is doing is acceptable to them, then they need to be explicit and they need to explain why it is – and that's what we've been waiting to hear." 

Dix said that wearing a mask is not an alternative to physical distancing.

A total of 2,577 people in B.C. have fully recovered from the virus. 

Do you think it is safe to travel around BC this summer?

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