B.C. health officials report no new cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island

BC Government/File
Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

There are no new cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island.

On May 18, B.C. health officials reported 16 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province’s overall case total to 2,444.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were eight new cases reported between Saturday and Sunday and eight new cases reported between Sunday and Monday, but that none of those new cases were within the Island Health region.

B.C’s top doctor also said there had been two additional deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 143.

Among the 2,444 cases, there have been 1,195 cases reported in Fraser Health, 882 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 181 in Interior Health, 126 in Island Health, and 60 in Northern Health.

There are 335 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C. and a total of 47 people are in hospital, with 12 people in intensive care. There are also 19 active outbreaks of the virus within the provincial healthcare system, including 14 cases in long-term care homes and 5 in acute care facilities.

On a positive note, a total of 1,966 people have recovered from the coronavirus and there are no new health care or community outbreaks. Furthermore, one outbreak at a care facility in the Fraser Health region has officially been declared over.

During her update on Monday, Henry said people, including herself, are still learning new ways of interacting with each other and that it can be a challenging and lead to anxiety.

“We still learning the new ways of safe social interaction and doing things we’ve never had to do before and that in itself can create anxiety and concern. I know that even me trying it out yesterday, I had some challenges,” she said. “I had a small number of friends over and we sat outside at an appropriate distance from each other but it was a bit awkward and strange.”

Henry acknowledged that the stress of physical distancing and social isolation can be much more challenging for certain segments of the population.

“Some people, it can have a harmful impact,” she said, adding that for those who are victims of family violence, there is help available through Victimlink BC.

As B.C. prepares to enter phase two of its reopening plan tomorrow, Henry said there is potential for a “flare-up” of new COVID-19 cases.

“We have seen that in places around the world and us, in public health, we will be watching very carefully and we will ensure that we have the testing, contact tracing, and the ability to manage any new cases that we see,” Henry said.

Henry urged people to “hold the line” and be smart.

“So pause and think about how you are going to keep those around you safe,” she said. “If you are using transit or going into a smaller store where keeping a safe physical distance can be challenging, those are the times where we can consider wearing a cloth face mask to protect others.”

“Simple things can make a big difference,” she added.

More to come

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