No new COVID-19 deaths in B.C. for four days | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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No new COVID-19 deaths in B.C. for four days

Dr. Bonnie Henry June 16, 2020.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Province of B.C.
June 16, 2020 - 3:58 PM

For the fourth day in a row, there were no COVID-19 deaths in B.C., but the province's top doctor said it's not the time to let up on tried and true safety measures.

"It only takes one person in a crowded setting to spread it to many others and we have seen that around the world," Dr. Bonnie Henry said today, June 16, announcing 11 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., amounting to 2,765 since the beginning of the pandemic.

B.C., she said, is not immune to rapid spread, and it's been seen in long-term care homes, family gatherings, restaurants and workplaces like meat processing plants.

"Our most effective way to manage COVID-19 in our communities is to continue to work together to take care of each other and to do our part," Dr. Henry said.

"This is not forever, but it is certainly for now until we have the tools to fully stop this virus, we need to continue to take these measures as our foundation. And we need to continue to do this together, to be kind to be calm, and to be safe."

Dr. Henry reiterated that B.C. is slowly ramping up allowable activities, but indicated it would be months until life is returned to "normal" particularly given a spike in cases in both the U.S. and in China in recent days.

"We will continue to open what is safe to open and keep closed those things that are more risky," she said.

"We know that closed spaces particularly closed spaces with poor ventilation, (where there is) close contact over a period of time, and crowds are the higher risk."

One of the higher risk activities that Dr. Henry mentioned today is gatherings where there is singing or loud speaking. There have been incidents in Germany and Washington State where choirs of people were hard hit by the virus and in Seoul, South Korea, where people singing at nightclubs dealt with spread.

"Nightclubs where there is singing, dancing, talking dancing ... those are risky environments," she said.

That said, there are many things that B.C. residents can do safely.

"We were able to keep grocery stores and pharmacies and other essential businesses going," Dr. Henry said. 

Once B.C. flattened the curve, more  retail stores and restaurants opened. 

"Then we added in the surgeries and other things in our healthcare system. And then there was the return to in classroom teaching in schools and modified and expanded options for restaurants to take advantage of things like our summer months and the patios."

"Looking ahead, we are, we're going to transition to developing these guidance for more things like spas resorts activities like recreational sports, and we're working to be able to safely restart other parts of our economy," she said. "And we're developing the tools in partnership with the B.C. CDC and with WorkSafe B.C., to be able to do this. And to all of us to understand how we can use our foundations to continue to make it safe."

Of the 2,756 people with COVID-19 to date, 940 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,426 in the Fraser Health region, 130 on the Vancouver Island health region, 196 in the Interior Health region and 65 people in Northern Health.

There are now 172 active cases of whom 11 are in hospital. Five people in critical care.


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