As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the world, more positive test results are being reported in B.C., where the total now sits at 1,121 as of Thursday, April 2nd, up by 55 from the day before.
Confirmed cases in the Interior Health region have gone up to 121 as of Thursday.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the number of those that have recovered has also gone up, with 641 people in the province no longer showing symptoms.
Six more deaths have been reported in B.C., three in the Vancouver Coastal region, one in the Fraser Health area, and two on Vancouver Island. So far, 31 people have died from COVID-19 in the province.
Dr. Henry said an inmate at the Okanagan Correctional Facility contracted the virus, and an outbreak was declared Wednesday evening.
“This is, of course, something that we have been concerned about and planning for. There has been a number of measured put in place to try to reduce the risk of introduction of COVID-19 into all of our correctional facilities,” said Henry. “The Provincial Health Service Authority, Correctional Health and Interior Health have been managing this outbreak since we were notified.”
Henry also spoke of B.C. residents aboard a cruise ship. Those residents will be flown back to Canada from Florida in the near future.
“We have been in contact with our counterparts in the federal government to ensure that they are appropriately assessed when they come back and that they are actively managed in quarantine,” explained Henry. “We need to be very careful to support these people so they are able to effectively isolate and that we have no transmission.”
B.C. residents are also advised to avoid unnecessary travel, especially to places that may not have the supplies to take on extra people should an outbreak occur.
“There are many of our smaller communities that are very concerned about people coming to vacation homes, to fishing lodges, et cetera. I’m asking people now, to forgo those types of travel, particularly to small communities where we might not have the resources to support you, should you become ill,” said Dr. Henry. “That’s something we need to do now to protect those who are more vulnerable in those communities, particularly our seniors and elders in our small and remote communities.
Henry again urged the public to listen to the orders and advice put in place by provincial and federal health authorities.
“It’s a challenging time for us, its a challenging time across the province. We’re in that phase where we need to be incredibly careful about what we’re doing, we need to continue to take these actions that we’ve asked you to take,” said Henry. “We have more than 1,100 cases here, in B.C., and it is growing, the number of people hospitalized is also growing, although thankfully by a small amount. That, I truly believe, is part of the reason we are seeing the growth in a manageable way, is because of what everybody is doing together.”
Henry added that many religious holidays are coming up, such as Easter and Ramadan, and it is important to participate in ceremonies safely to avoid spreading COVID-19. She said that faith leaders will meet next week to discuss ideas on how to facilitate safe procedures on observing holidays.
*** Story by Ryley McCormack ***