Just 8 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., marking smallest increase since mid-March
VANCOUVER -- Health officials have announced another eight test-positive cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, marking the province's smallest increase since mid-March.
During her daily briefing on Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also revealed that 1,472 people have now fully recovered from the virus, an increase of 55 from the previous day.
The latest update brings the total number of cases identified in B.C. since the start of the pandemic to 2,232. There are currently 639 active cases, including 78 that are serious enough to put people in hospital. Of those patients, 21 are in intensive care.
Unfortunately, another four people have died since Monday's briefing, bringing the province's death toll to 121.
"As always, our hearts and our thoughts go to the families and the caregivers and the communities of these people," Henry said.
Officials also announced three new outbreaks. Two were discovered at acute care units, while the third was found at Evergreen House, a long-term care facility located near Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
Health workers are now battling active outbreaks at 22 seniors' homes and care facilities in the province, though 17 others have been declared over – including the one at Lynn Valley Care Centre, which was the first seniors' home in B.C. to be impacted by the virus.
"All of the people who were affected in that facility have recovered now, which is really great news," Henry said.
There are also the ongoing community outbreaks. Officials said there are now 97 cases of COVID-19 associated with three poultry plant outbreaks in the Lower Mainland, and 143 associated with Mission Institution, the federal prison that's suffered the worst outbreak in Canada's correctional system.
But the small increase in cases announced Tuesday is still a hopeful sign as the province prepares to relax some of the restrictions that have drastically changed daily life for B.C. residents.
On Monday, health officials shared new modelling that indicates people should be able to double their social interactions while keeping new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the province at a manageable level.
But Dr. Henry stressed that people should not begin altering their behaviour just yet.
"The orders and restrictions that we have put in place are still in place, so please don't start planning your playdates and expanding your bubble too soon," she said. "We need to hold the line right now. We still have outbreaks that are happening in our communities and in our long-term care and acute care facilities."
B.C. Premier John Horgan is expected to share more information on the province's plans on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Henry urged people to continue the precautionary habits that will continue to serve them well throughout the course of the pandemic.
People must also be extra vigilant about staying home from work and staying indoors generally while suffering even mild cold or flu symptoms, Henry said, "with no exceptions."
"This is going to be incredibly important, not only for the coming weeks and months, but when we go into the respiratory season next fall," she added.