B.C.’s top health officials have announced that they will be hosting a rare, televised provincial update on COVID-19 this Saturday.
The conference will be held via live stream, beginning at 1 p.m. PT. The stream will be available on both CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The announcement of Saturday’s unexpected briefing came on Friday afternoon following the report of a record-breaking 589 new cases across the province in the last 24-hours.
Friday’s record shattered the previous daily record, set yesterday, when 425 cases were reported in British Columbia.
Over the last several months, health officials have routinely provided daily COVID-19 updates on weekdays, with televised press conferences on Monday and Thursday and written briefings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
At the start of the pandemic, it was common to see updates provided on Saturday, however, officials strayed away from that early in the summer.
At this time, Dr. Henry and Health Minister Dix have not provided a specific reason for their weekend briefing.
Although they did call an unexpected briefing without a clear cause, Friday’s written statement seemed to imply Dr. Henry and Dix hope to keep businesses open. The health officials did indicate that public health teams are continuing to assess the landscape in certain sectors and are stepping up inspections to “identify gaps” and “increase the safety measures,” where it is required.
“Only if it is clearly demonstrated that a business or sector is unable to operate safely are businesses ordered to close,” reads the joint statement from this afternoon.
Of the 589 new cases announced on Friday, five of them have been linked to the Island Health region.
There are now 30 active cases within the health authority: 13 on southern Vancouver Island, six on central Vancouver Island and 11 on northern Vancouver Island.