Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix say there have been no new deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
This is the first time since April 17 that there have been no new deaths announced on a weekday. The provincial death toll remains at 161.
“I’m extremely pleased that today for the first time in a while we’ve had no new deaths from COVID-19 in B.C.,” Henry said Tuesday.
Eleven new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the provincial total to 2,541. Of those cases, 258 are active cases. There are 37 people in hospital and seven in intensive care.
“We’re obviously pleased that there are no deaths to report today and only 11 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.,” Dix said.
There have now been 897 COVID-19 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,261 in Fraser Health, 127 in Island Health (no change from May 26), 194 in Interior Health and 62 in Northern Health.
And no new outbreaks have been declared in either health-care or the community. The Richmond Hospital outbreak has been declared over.
Henry said B.C. might see an increase in some cases but public health is prepared. She added that’s why it’s important to keep physical distancing, keep groups small and wash hands regularly.
“Small numbers and knowing who you are with helps us make sure that we can continue that public health activity to keep our community safe,” she said. “We need to keep within our limits and keep up with what we know works.”
Henry said the restart phase may cause anxiety and frustration among people but she urged calm.
“We all have a role to play and we’ve seen what can be successful here in B.C.” she said.
Earlier today, Premier John Horgan and his provincial counterparts in Yukon and Manitoba said they are pleased the federal government is calling for a national sick leave program.
Horgan and the two other premiers — Yukon’s Sandy Silver and Brian Pallister of Manitoba — issued a joint statement today after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would urge the provinces to get onboard.
The federal push likely comes at the behest of the federal New Democrats in exchange for that party’s support of Trudeau’s minority government proposals on Parliamentary sessions during the pandemic.
The three premiers say paid sick leave is crucial for the restart of the economy — noting Yukon already has a provincial sick leave program — and they say they will work together to move the federal initiative forward.
Henry said she is excited to hear Vancouver is on that list.
“I would love to have hockey but we have been very clear and the premier has been very clear that we’re not bending the rules in any way that would put what we have achieved here in B.C. at risk,” said Henry.
Watch Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix on May 26, 2020.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC