30 more cases, 1 death from COVID-19 in B.C.
A medical worker holds swabs and test tube to test people for COVID-19 in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Monday, March, 16, 2020. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post via AP)
VANCOUVER -- Health officials have announced 30 more cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in B.C., as well as one additional death.
This is the first death from the virus recorded in B.C. in more than a week.
The latest recorded death, a person in long-term care, brings the province's death toll from the virus to 190.
The province now has 304 active cases of the virus, and 16 patients are currently hospitalized. Three patients are in critical care or ICU.
There have now been 3,392 cases of the virus recorded in B.C., and 2,898 people are considered to be fully recovered.
Health officials continue to monitor exposure events, many of which occurred in Central and South Okanagan after gatherings in early July.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said these events over the past couple of weeks have led to a "surge" in cases in those areas, and some of those people have returned to other parts of B.C.
"As we know, this virus can be a stealth virus," Henry said. "We have seen it move around our province, sometimes silently with far-reaching impacts and serious consequences."
More than 1,000 people across the province have been forced to self-isolate after they were exposed to COVID-19 during events in the Okanagan.
"Some of those people will develop this virus, and this illness in the coming weeks," she said.
"These British Columbians, these people in B.C., have had to close their businesses or miss work, isolate from their family and friends and not leave their home unless it's to get medical care."
Henry added everyone deserves to have a fun summer and acknowledged that it's "needed" in B.C. given what everyone has gone through during the pandemic. But she emphasized the importance of safe interactions and being considerate of others.
"It shows us that the actions of a few, even if inadvertent, can cause a tremendous impact," she said.
Henry announced she will be introducing an order requiring those who rent properties—including houseboats or Airbnbs—to limit the numbers of guests and visitors as part of the rental agreements.
"That order will apply across the province because we know that this is not just an issue in the Okanagan, this is an issue that has affected vacation and rental places across B.C.," she said.
Henry encouraged people to keep their groups small, whether inside or outside, as being around crowds of people, especially those you don't know, can put you at risk.
"Only spend time with those that you are closest to, those you know," she said.
Restaurants are required not to seat more than six people per table, a number Henry said is manageable and reduces risks. She also suggested using that number as guidance for other social activities, such as going to the beach, park or a friend's house.
"Keep your groups small. That is what is going to prevent transmission to more of us in our communities right now," she said.
All of B.C.'s health regions saw an increase in cases since Wednesday.
Interior Health saw the greatest increase, with cases in that region rising from 304 to 315.
The caseload in Northern Health rose from 69 to 77, and Fraser Health's rose from 1,742 to 1,750. Vancouver Coastal Health recorded two more cases with its total rising to 1,051, and Island Health recorded one additional case.
The number of cases among people who reside outside of Canada remained at 57.
No new outbreaks were detected in health-care facilities, but officials continue to deal with active outbreaks in one long-term care home and two acute care facilities.