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 providing case updates for two 24-hour reporting periods: May 30 to May 31, and May 31 to midday today.
"In the first reporting period through May 31, we had nine new cases. In the last 24 hours, we have had a further 15 new cases.
"This represents 24 new cases since we reported on Saturday, for a total of 2,597 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 225 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,207 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 32 individuals are hospitalized, five of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
"Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 904 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,307 in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Island Health region, 195 in the Interior Health region and 64 in the Northern Health region.
"There has been one new COVID-19 related death in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 165 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 and the outbreak at The Residence at Clayton Heights has been declared over. In total, 12 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care unit have active outbreaks.
"Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at federal corrections facilities, the processing facilities in the poultry sector and for individuals connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.
"As we continue to respond to our COVID-19 pandemic, we commend British Columbians for speaking out against racism and doing so peacefully.
"As Canadians, we strongly believe in the importance of upholding our shared values of inclusion, tolerance and respect. Racism and hate in any form have no place in our province or nation.
"Peaceful demonstration is our right, one that is important to all of us, and taking care of ourselves and each other is our responsibility.
"We want to remind everyone of the importance of physical distancing and the public health order to limit gatherings to a maximum of 50 people. We encourage alternate forms of peaceful demonstration that respect these important pandemic safety measures.
"Our Elders and seniors play an important role in the well-being of our communities. As our history and culture keepers, let's take the time this week during B.C. Seniors' Week to honour our seniors by doing all we can to care for and protect them.
"Over 8,500 British Columbians are volunteering their time to help isolated seniors in their neighbourhoods and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We especially want to thank the United Way, bc211, B.C.'s seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie and members of the all-party COVID-19 Seniors Working Group for their partnership in this initiative.
"Today also marks the restart of significant Phase 2 activities. Our K-12 schools have reopened to in-class learning for the remainder of the school year, transit systems are fully operational and some provincial parks are now open to overnight camping.
"The reopening of our schools was purposely timed for two weeks after the start of Phase 2 to make sure we could proceed safely. We have been monitoring our progress closely, precautions and safety measures are in place and we are ready for this.
"Transit systems are now fully operational, and while there are limitations on how many people can be on a bus at one time, safe physical distancing may be challenging. As a result, transit users are encouraged to wear a non-medical mask.
"The start of the B.C. camping season also means we can expand our time outside to include the many nearby and beautiful B.C. camping locations. No matter where your summer adventures may be, remember to stay home if you are feeling ill and take precautions to protect the communities you may be visiting along the way.
"To keep COVID-19 at bay, we need to stay slow and low with fewer faces and bigger spaces. A slow and gradual return ensures we can continue to keep our curve flat and protect our loved ones and ourselves.
"Now more than ever we need everyone in B.C. to be tolerant, kind, calm and safe in our schools, on the streets of our communities and while enjoying our beautiful province."