B.C. sees 10 new COVID-19 cases, one new death, in last 24 hours

British Columbia saw 10 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and one new death in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said in a release.

The 10 new cases, along with one data correction from the previous day, put B.C.’s total COVID case count at 2,878 - with 159 active cases while 2,545 patients have recovered.

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Of the active cases, 17 people are hospitalized with five in intensive care. The one new death puts the province’s overall COVID death toll at 174.

"There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks and the outbreak at Nicola Lodge has been declared over,” Henry said in the release. “In total, five long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility have active outbreaks… There have been no new community outbreaks.”

Henry also confirmed that public health teams continue to aid the treatment and handling of the two remaining community outbreak locations within B.C. To date, Fraser Health Region has reported the highest number of COVID cases with 1,514, followed by Vancouver Coastal Health (969), Interior Health (199), Island Health (131) and Northern Health (65).

Officials also commented on the First Nations Health Authority numbers released this morning, noting only 86 members from indigenous communities have contracted the novel coronavirus since the outbreak started.

And while Henry was quick to praise the efforts made by First Nations leaders to protect their people by working with health authorities on preventative measures, she also noted that social distancing has put specific, cultural stresses on these communities.

“The need to put aside important cultural gatherings to maintain a safe physical distance and to limit visitors has had a great social, mental and economic impact on many,” Henry said. “It also reminds us of the resilience that First Nations communities continue to display in the face of hardships.”

Earlier in the day, both Henry and First Nations Health Authority acting chief medical officer Shannon McDonald mentioned the need for travellers looking to take advantage of the recently reopened intra-provincial travel restrictions to do their part to protect First Nations and rural communities who may not feel comfortable welcoming guests yet.

The province is working on signage and barriers to prevent people from stumbling upon communities that wish to stay closed, but travellers are also asked to call ahead to the places they plan to visit to make sure what local restrictions may be in place. 

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