Another 2 deaths, 81 cases of COVID-19 recorded in B.C. since Friday
VANCOUVER -- Two more people have died from COVID-19 in British Columbia since Friday, and health officials have identified another 81 infections.
Monday's update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix brings the province's death toll to 193, and the total number of cases confirmed since the start of the pandemic to 3,500.
With the long weekend coming up, Henry urged British Columbians to be responsible however they choose to spend their leisure time.
"Start planning today for what you're going to be doing to make your B.C. Day long weekend a safe weekend," she said. "As I've been saying from the very beginning, go play outside – but play safe."
Drop in active cases
The latest cases are spread across three reporting periods: 36 were identified from Friday to Saturday, followed by 21 from Saturday to Sunday and 24 from Sunday to Monday.
But the number of active cases in B.C. still dropped to 264, down from 294 last week, as more than 100 people also recovered from the virus over the weekend. A total of 3,043 people have now recovered from COVID-19 across the province.
Active cases peaked this month at 304 last Thursday, but even that was a far cry from the height of B.C.'s crisis back in the spring, when the number sometimes exceeded 700.
Hospitalizations, which Henry has called one of the most important ways of measuring the severity of the crisis, have remained fairly static. Officials said 11 people were hospitalized with the virus as of Monday, including three patients in intensive care or critical care units.
B.C. is also dealing with a new community outbreak, at a blueberry packing plant in Abbotsford where 15 employees have already tested positive for COVID-19.
Health officials said they have already conducted an inspection at Fraser Valley Packers Inc., and that the plant is operating at a reduced capacity for the time being.
"Public health is screening all employees at the facility, and case and contact management is ongoing. Those identified as cases and close cases have been instructed to self-isolate," the Fraser Health Authority said in an information bulletin.
Order limiting guests at rentals
On Monday, Henry also made official the order she announced last week to limit the number of people allowed in B.C. rental properties.
The rules apply to everything from hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals to boats and yurts, where guests will be "limited to the capacity of the space, plus a maximum of five visitors," Henry said.
"That means you cannot have a large number of people over to party in your hotel room or on your boat during this period of our COVID summer," the provincial health officer added.