‘Stick with the same close contacts’; Health officials push outdoor gathering safety as B.C. announces 1,005 new COVID-19 cases

'Stick with the same close contacts'; Health officials push outdoor gathering safety as B.C. announces 1,005 new COVID-19 cases
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British Columbia is reporting 1,005 new cases of COVID-19 for the entire province with six additional deaths in that span.

Of the 1,005 new cases, 49 are linked to the Island Health region.

There are currently 10,081 active cases in British Columbia while 15,877 residents remain under active public health monitoring.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says that 425 are in hospital – an increase of 16 since April 15 – with 127 people in critical care as a result of the virus (an increase of two).

Since Wednesday’s numbers, there have been 259 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 536 in the Fraser Health region, 49 in the Island Health region, 110 in the Interior Health region, 51 in the Northern Health region and no new case of people who reside outside of Canada.

There were six additional deaths related to the virus on Friday. This brings the provincial death total over the course of the pandemic to 1,530.

There have been 5,739 confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in B.C. as well.

Of the total cases, 212 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 3,858 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 71 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 1,810 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

Also as of Friday, the total number of cases in British Columbia over the course of the pandemic has reached 117,080.

Health officials also said, to date, 1,282,091 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the province, 87,970 of which are second doses.

“Spending time outside is important for our physical and mental well-being. But we have to remember that while being outside with others is much lower risk than being inside, it is not without risk,” cautioned Dr. Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a statement.

Currently, the province has set restrictions on select indoor activities, such as dining at a restaurant, however, has left patios open and are allowing gatherings outside of up to 10 people.

“Even if we are outside, we need to stay small and continue to use our layers of protection,” reads a statement on Friday. “This means keeping a safe distance and wearing masks, especially if someone is at higher risk for serious illness.”

“Be purposeful about who you are seeing and where you are going, and stick with the same close contacts,” adds the duo.

Dr. Henry and Dix are suggesting that if you are meeting someone on a patio for brunch that you make sure it is the “same friend every time.”

“It is easy to look for loopholes, but rather let’s look for how we can keep each other safe,” stress the health officials.

Island Health

According to the latest data provided by Island Health, there are currently 446 active cases on Vancouver Island.

Of the active cases, 256 are on southern Vancouver Island, 150 on central Vancouver Island and 40 on northern Vancouver Island.

Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.

Central Vancouver Island includes the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino areas.

Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Island Health region has reported 4,212 cases.


Graham CoxGraham Cox

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