Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, says there are 10 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. as of Tuesday, including nine test-positive cases and one epidemiologically-linked case.
None of the new cases are in Island Health. The total number of cases in the Island Health region since the pandemic began is 130.
There were no new deaths reported on Tuesday, marking the fourth straight day with no deaths from COVID-19. The death toll remains at 167.
The total number of cases in B.C. since the pandemic began is now at 2,669. Of those, 2,319 have recovered.
Henry said she’s “very grateful” that B.C.’s numbers continue to trend downward, but she pointed out that Monday marked a grim milestone for the pandemic, setting a record for new cases reported worldwide.
“I want everyone to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over,” Henry said, adding that infections in any part of the world affect everyone.
“It recognizes no borders. It recognizes none of the geopolitical barriers we put in place.”
Elsewhere in B.C., there have been 908 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,370 in Fraser Health, 195 in Interior Health and 64 in Northern Health.
There are still 183 active cases in B.C., with four people in ICU.
B.C. still has four active outbreaks in long-term care, but no new cases have been detected in connection with those homes in the last 24 hours.
Henry said Tuesday a family gathering of at least 30 people in the Fraser Valley, which led to 15 of them testing positive for COVID-19, should be a “warning sign.” The gathering took place both indoors and outdoors.
When asked about the anti-racism protests in B.C. over the weekend during Tuesday’s news conference, Henry said she was disappointed the protests went ahead, despite the order against gatherings of more than 50 people, as “there are ways for smaller groups to demonstrate.” However, she also said she continues to advocate for education and co-operation over enforcement of that order.
To date, B.C. has not seen any spike in infection linked to rallies against anti-Black racism and police brutality, but Henry said she’s concerned about instances in the U.S. where police have used tear gas on protesters, potentially worsening spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, British Columbia’s film industry has been given the go-ahead to restart production after WorkSafeBC released new health and safety guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The guidelines will ensure social distancing during Film and TV production and they cover everything from costumes and makeup to transportation and catering.
WorkSafeBC says film production companies are allowed to start working once they have a COVID-19 safety plan that meets both their protocols and the provincial health officer orders.
The WorkSafe protocols call for work such as casting and location scouting to be done remotely if possible.
Creative B.C., a provincial organization that supports a range of creative industries, is leading a group that will release a guide in mid-June for film for production companies to follow.
It has estimated that film and TV production contributes more than $3 billion annually to the provincial economy.
Watch Dr. Bonnie Henry on June 9, 2020.
More to come
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC