B.C. reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths from the virus, during an update on the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday afternoon.
The overall total number of cases reported in B.C. now stands at 2,573, while the province’s death toll remains at 164.
None of the new COVID-19 cases reported today were within in the Island Health region. There has not been a new case reported within Island Health since May 22.
Of the 2,573 cases in B.C., there have been 902 cases reported in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,285 cases reported in Fraser Health, 195 cases reported in Interior Health, 127 cases reported in Island Health and 64 cases reported in Northern Health.
There are currently 228 active cases of the virus in B.C, with 35 people currently in hospital. Of those 35 hospitalizations, five are in ICU.
B.C. also announced a ban on overnight children’s camps throughout the summer. The measure was ordered by Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, who said it is necessary in order to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
“Physical distancing is very much a challenge in these situations,” she said. “I know that this is a disappointment to many groups who are used to having that important part of their summer.”
During Saturday’s update, Henry said that there has been a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases in B.C. lately.
“That is very good news,” she said. “That is very encouraging.”
However, Henry pointed out that new cases are typically in people who are older or elderly and that B.C. must continue to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We need to proceed with care and we need to keep doing what we are doing to prevent transmission,” she said. “That goes back to the fundamental things that we have been talking about from the very beginning; that is staying away from others if we are feeling unwell, washing our hands regularly, covering our mouth when we cough, making sure that we keep safe physical distance . . . and limit the numbers of contacts we have.”
British Columbia is currently two weeks into the second phase of its restart program and Henry said that K-12 schools will reopen starting on Monday. She said its OK if some school administrators are a little nervous, adding that with the measures B.C. has taken throughout the pandemic, the province is ready.
“We are using these measures to prevent transmission of this infection and that will be what we are doing in our schools come Monday,” she said. “My team in public health has been actively working with many people in our education system and we have confidence that the approach that we put in place in schools across this province are the appropriate ones that will keep us all safe.”
Henry said transmission in children typically happens within the “household context” when adults are around. She said 77 people under the age of 19 have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C.
“That is less than one per cent,” she said adding, “And that is despite thousands of children having been tested.”
The province’s top doctor also said she wouldn’t be surprised if there were “one or two cases” arise in schools in B.C. in the coming weeks.
“But that’s OK,” Henry said. “We know how to deal with this, we know that it is not easily spread and we know we can prevent it by putting the measures that we have in our schools.”