UPDATE: No large events will be held this summer, says provincial health officer - InfoNews

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UPDATE: No large events will be held this summer, says provincial health officer

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Government of B.C.
April 18, 2020 - 12:16 PM

No new COVID-19 cases have been reported today in the Interior Health region, according to B.C.’s health officer.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gave a live update Saturday, April 18, urging residents to continue following physical distancing guidelines in order to prevent outbreaks.

She reported a total of 1,647 cases in B.C., with 29 new cases since yesterday. There have been three new deaths in long-term care homes, she said.

There are no new cases at the Okanagan Correctional Centre, she said.

“We are not at the point when we can let up our guard… the risk of a spike or another outbreak is a real concern to me,” Henry said. “This is still a major problem in communities around us.”

The province is currently "in the eye of the storm," she said, with much work left to be done.

The easing of restrictions will be "slow" and "gradual" she said. In the next two weeks, plans are currently being made for what will happen if the province is able to ease some restrictions.

READ MORE: B.C.'s Dr. Bonnie Henry inspires a footwear homage from John Fluevog

Large events will not be happening this summer, Henry said.

“We do not have enough herd or community immunity to protect everyone to allow that to happen,” she said. “In terms of smaller events... again, this is a very challenging time and I know it’s hard for people to have these events without getting together."

“I would tell people to think small,” she said.

READ MORE: 3 new COVID-19 deaths in B.C. for 81 total, says provincial health officer

For businesses, she suggested they start developing strategies so they can be open while following physical distancing guidelines.

“I would also suggest for people to start planning for hybrids to increase online presence.... If this is going to be the new normal for the next year, think of how you can maintain social distancing measures," Henry said.

With a recent outbreak of COVID-19 near Fort McMurray in a work camp that may impact the Interior Health region due to the number of residents who work in Alberta and live in the region, Henry said there are guidelines in place for B.C. camps and Alberta camps.

There are guidance provided at camps to detect people who have it in B.C., similar to Alberta, and guidelines for camps around isolation for people and plans to remove people if they're sick, she said.

Public Health is also monitoring people who have travelled back from Alberta who may be at risk, she said.

This story was updated April 18 at 1:20 p.m.

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