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 23 to May 24, and May 24 to midday today.
"In the first reporting period through May 24, we had five new cases. In the last 24 hours, we have had a further seven new cases.
"This represents 12 new cases since we reported on Saturday, for a total of 2,530 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 267 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,102 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 37 individuals are hospitalized, seven 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 894 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,253 in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Island Health region, 194 in the Interior Health region and 62 in the Northern Health region.
"We are saddened to report four new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 161 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of these individuals, as well as to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, 14 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care units have active outbreaks.
"Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at federal corrections facilities, the two processing facilities within the poultry sector and for individuals connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.
"We would like to assure British Columbians that there have been no reported cases of food or food packaging associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Our food supply is safe, including products from facilities where there have been outbreaks of COVID-19.
"We are monitoring the situation in B.C. and in other areas closely as we continue to chart our path forward. The key to our success in Phase 2 is all of us working together.
"Today is also the start of B.C. Paramedic Services Week. We want to recognize these emergency first responders who are an integral part of our health response, including to both public health emergencies we are facing in B.C. These specialists are with us from the moment we call 911, to when we get to hospital, as part of the network of health professionals helping to protect us. They are active in supporting health care in communities across B.C. through the Community Paramedicine program.
"In step with these efforts, public health teams continue to test, trace and track the spread of COVID-19 to quickly put out hot spots, as our front-line health workers provide the care we may need.
"While scheduled surgeries have returned and other health professions restart their activities, our COVID-19 health response remains in place and will remain at the ready, should the need arise.
"As individuals, we must also continue to do our part. Our efforts are working and we are making progress. People are doing the right thing, following the 'rules' for safe social interactions and taking the necessary precautions.
"What is clear for all of us is that our success so far, and our ability to further ease restrictions ahead, relies on our shared commitment and effort. Let's keep going and keep everyone safe."
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