Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:
"Today, we are announcing eight new COVID-19 confirmed positive cases, for a total of 2,783 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 190 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,425 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 10 individuals are hospitalized, five 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 950 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,441 in the Fraser Health region, 130 in the Island Health region, 197 in the Interior Health region and 65 in the Northern Health region.
"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 168 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, six long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility have active outbreaks.
"There have been no new community outbreaks and the outbreak at Nature's Touch Frozen Fruits has been declared over. Public health teams continue to provide support for the three remaining community locations.
"Of the new cases announced today, one adult has been linked to a small, independent school in the Fraser Health region. Public health teams are actively investigating, close contacts have been notified and as a precautionary measure, the school has ceased in-class learning for the balance of the year.
"As the new health-care outbreaks demonstrate, COVID-19 can quickly spread, often undetected, resulting in multiple cases in multiple locations.
"While public health teams are working hard to contain further spread, this is a challenge that we will continue to face for the foreseeable future until we are able to fully stop COVID-19 in our province.
"What we can do to reduce the risk for everyone is to maintain our vigilance to even mild illness and always, without question, stay home from work or school and stay away from others if you are feeling ill.
"Our seniors and Elders are most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19, which is why a number of precautions are in place for long-term care facilities. However, we understand that these restrictions, in particular the limit on visitors, comes at a high cost for residents and their loved ones.
"Every person who enters a facility increases the likelihood for virus to enter with them, regardless of the safety precautions that are taken. This is the challenge we face.
"Our approach is to move forward slowly, with caution. Our hope is that, like many parts of our economy and our province, we will be able to modify our approach and ease restrictions once the risk to our Elders and seniors has reduced and it is safe to do so.
"Whether at work, out shopping or visiting a friend, using all of the layers of protection is the best approach. Maintaining a safe physical distance, using barriers, having clear policies for employees and finally, as a last layer, using a cloth face covering.
"Our strength and our safety lie in adopting multiple layers to keep COVID-19 low and slow. To do that, let's continue to work together, to take care of each other and do our part."