B.C. health officials reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with no new cases in Island Health.
Of the new cases, one case is epidemiologically-linked, meaning a person who was never tested but were presumed to have COVID-19 because they developed symptoms and were close contacts of a laboratory-confirmed case.
B.C. has now had 3,881 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, including 146 cases in Island Health, 1,143 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 2,045 in Fraser Health, 385 in Interior Health, 93 in Northern Health and 69 among people who reside outside Canada (temporary foreign workers and visitors).
There are 371 active cases in B.C. There are 11 people with COVID-19 in hospital in B.C. (up two from Aug. 5), with five in intensive care (down one from Aug. 5). No new deaths were reported Thursday. Health Minister Adrian Dix said it has now been six days in a row without a COVID-19 related death.
A total of 3,315 people have recovered from COVID-19 in B.C. Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said 1,518 people, across all health authorities, are being monitored because of close contacts with COVID-19 cases.
“This means not working. Not working out. Not going out and causing them, their families, and their friends anxiety. Some of them got sick,” Dix said.
“We know this virus is going to be in our communities for many months to come,” Henry said.
“We have put layers of protection and we have safely restarted our province in a slow, thoughtful and measured way.”
There are two new health care outbreaks as of Thursday, both with one case identified in a staff member. There are now five active healthcare outbreaks: four in long-term care and one in acute care. The new outbreaks are at the Richmond Lions Manor, Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Centre.
There are no new community outbreaks but there is community exposure events. There are 10 cases among crew members of a U.S.-registered marine vessel and there is an exposure event at Lions Bay Beach Park. Anyone who visited Lions Bay Beach Park on July 26, 27, 29, 30 and 31 is asked to self-monitor for symptoms, limit time with others and call 811 for testing if there are symptoms.
“Obviously these [numbers] are higher than I’d like to see but we know where these transmissions are happening,” said Henry. But she added each case was able to be traced, and transmission remains low because of the measures British Columbians have taken collectively.
She also said it can be tempting right now for British Columbians to turn their backs on people as the pandemic goes on but it’s time to offer support.
“We need to continue to play safe and stay safe. I know we’ll continue to get through this together,” Henry said.
Over Canada Day weekend, British Columbians saw people not using their “COVID-sense,” said Dix.
“Large private parties come with huge public consequences,” he said.
To those who are attending large gatherings, Dix said “that’s enough.”
“Refusing to accept COVID-19 puts all of us at risk,” Dix said.
“We’re not trying to ruin anyone’s summer. That’s the work of COVID-19.”
Earlier Thursday, BC Transit announced face masks would be mandatory starting Aug. 24. And Walmart Canada has also announced a face mask requirement, which will start on Aug. 12.
Henry said she’s really pleased with TransLink and BC Transit’s decision to enforce mandatory mask-wearing on transit.
“A rational and reasonable thing to do,” she said.
As for schools, Henry said masks will be available for children and teachers at school, but she added there’s no evidence prolonged mask-wearing by kids in class provides a benefit.
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To see B.C.’s COVID-19 numbers by day and health authority, along with testing numbers and recoveries, visit the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard.
To see a list of B.C. COVID-19 public exposures, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website here. Regional exposures are posted on health authorities’ websites.
According to researchers with Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 worldwide is now more than 18.9 million, with more than 710,000 deaths.
Watch Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Aug. 6 below:
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC