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:
"We are announcing 45 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 231 cases in British Columbia. Of the new cases, 13 are currently hospitalized, seven are in intensive care, five have recovered and the remaining patients are at home in isolation.
"Of the new cases, one patient is a resident of the Haro Park Centre, an independent housing, assisted living and long-term care centre in Vancouver. Vancouver Coastal public health and infection control teams are on site.
"Of the total cases, 144 are in Vancouver Coastal, 58 are in Fraser, 16 are on Vancouver Island, nine are in Interior and four are in Northern health regions.
"We are reminding British Columbians that there are provincial health officer orders in place restricting travel, mass gatherings and operations of bars and clubs, in addition to requirements for social distancing in restaurants and indefinite suspension of school classes.
"The orders are a last measure to protect British Columbians and slow the transmission of COVID-19. While they are temporary, it is extremely important that everyone in our province abide by these orders.
"The provincial health officer can and will compel peace officers to enforce orders if that is required, but we believe it is far better to take precautions on a voluntary basis.
"We continue to remind people of the three things they can do to help all of us: first, use hand hygiene, second, maintain social or physical distancing, and third, stay at home if you are sick or at high risk for serious illness.
"Canada Blood Services has alerted us to an urgent need for new donations to maintain supply. Additional screening and social distancing measures are in place, and it is safe to donate blood. This is an important way to make a difference at this critical time.
New resources are being made available every day, including:
- The new online self-assessment tool: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/
- 1 888 COVID-19 for non-health information
- The website dedicated to COVID-19: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
- The magnitude of impact of COVID-19 on British Columbians cannot be overstated. However, by working together and supporting each other, we are confident we will get through this."