B.C. announces 10 cases of COVID-19, no new deaths for 4th day in a row
VANCOUVER -- For the fourth day in a row, no one has died from COVID-19 in British Columbia.
At their daily virus briefing on Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced nine new cases of COVID-19 and one newly confirmed epidemiologically linked case.
The update brings the total number of infections identified in B.C. since the start of the pandemic to 2,669, while the death toll remains at 167.
It's been three weeks since the province entered the second phase of its pandemic response, which allowed people to expand their social circles and return to some businesses that had been shuttered to prevent the spread of the virus, and officials have yet to see a major spike in infections.
"I'm very grateful in recent weeks that our number of new cases here in British Columbia continue to trend down and be low," Henry said.
"We are at that point where we are able to find these quickly and that speaks to the works we are all doing to follow the safe distancing rules."
The number of new and epi-linked cases was also matched by the number of people who have recovered from the virus since Monday. B.C.'s recoveries now stand at 2,319, leaving 183 active cases of COVID-19.
Of those, there are 16 people in hospital, including four who are in critical care or intensive care units.
But officials cautioned that the fight against COVID-19 must continue, particularly as other jurisdictions, including some in Canada, continue to see high daily caseloads. Monday marked the single worst day of the pandemic so far, with 136,000 people being infected globally over 24 hours.
"I want everyone to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic around us is far from over," Henry said. "It is still a major problem, and it is going to be in our communities around the world for some time."
Officials urged the public to continue taking precautions such as regular hand washing, staying home while sick without exception, and maintaining distance from one another even when meeting outdoors.
Henry said a cluster of cases that broke out following a family gathering in B.C.'s Lower Mainland should serve as a warning about what can happen if people fail to follow health advice.
Of the approximately 30 people who attended the event, Henry said "at least 15" have tested positive.
"That is one of the most common ways that it gets transmitted: It's the people that we are closest to and spend time with," Henry said.
"It's not that somebody intentionally brings that into their community, to their loved ones, to their family."
Watch the full news conference on the provincial government's YouTube page.