14 new cases of COVID-19, 1 more death as B.C. enters Phase 3
VANCOUVER -- Health officials in British Columbia have announced 14 new test-positive cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the coronavirus.
A total of 2,849 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, and 171 people have died from the virus.
There are currently 162 active cases of the coronavirus in the province, including 14 people who are hospitalized, seven of them in intensive care.
The update from Minister of Health Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry comes on the same day that Premier John Horgan announced that the province had entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan.
Phase 3 will allow for increased travel within B.C., as well as the reopening of additional businesses, provided they take appropriate measures to prevent transmission of the virus.
In their statement Wednesday, Dix and Henry stressed that COVID-19 remains a threat, even as the province reopens.
“No matter where we may be this summer, remember that COVID-19 is still with us," the health officials said. "So let’s make sure we travel respectfully, by using our travel manners, planning ahead, being prepared and maintaining safe social interactions."
The message echoes the one the pair provided on Tuesday, when they provided an update on B.C.'s modelling of the spread of the virus.
That data suggested B.C. has managed to keep its case numbers low, but that personal contacts are at "the threshold" for a rebound in new infections of COVID-19.
"We're at a point where we want things to go back to normal," Henry said Tuesday. "We don't want to have to deal with this anymore. But we know that there's downsides to that."
On Wednesday, Henry and Dix reiterated that message in their joint statement.
“We are in a unique and unusual time, and until we have an effective treatment or vaccine, COVID-19 will continue to circulate in our communities," they said. "We need to keep our actions going to minimize any cases."
Dix and Henry said there have been no new outbreaks of the virus in health-care facilities, nor have there been any "community outbreaks" over the last 24 hours.
There are still seven ongoing outbreaks in health-care facilities, including six in long-term care homes and one in a hospital acute care unit.
One community outbreak - at Maersk Distribution Canada Inc. in Delta - has been declared over, but health officials are still responding to two ongoing community outbreaks.
The vast majority of B.C.'s cases of COVID-19 have been located in the Lower Mainland, with 1,491 people testing positive in the Fraser Health region and 963 testing positive in the Vancouver Coastal Health region since the pandemic began.
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 199 cases in Interior Health, 131 cases in Island Health, and 65 in Northern Health.
A total of 2,516 people who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 are now considered recovered.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Carly Yoshida-Butryn and Alyse Kotyk