B.C. announces 29 more COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations drop to 5
Health Minister Adrian Dix and Chief Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provide an update on COVID-19 on April 29, 2020 (Province of B.C. / Flickr)
VICTORIA -- Twenty-nine more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in British Columbia in the last 24 hours, health officials in the province said Thursday.
Those new cases bring the total number identified in B.C. since the pandemic began to 3,591, but there have been no new deaths in the last day, leaving the provincial death toll at 194.
There are 242 active cases in the province, but only five of those people are hospitalized with the coronavirus, including two who are in critical care.
Both active cases and hospitalizations have declined over the last 24 hours. There were 259 active cases and six hospitalizations in B.C. on Wednesday.
Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry each referenced this trend during their live media briefing Thursday afternoon.
"We're conscious and grateful that no one has passed away from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours," Dix said. "We're also grateful that there are only five people in hospital with COVID-19, which I think is the lowest number since the middle of March, which is a significant improvement."
Henry referenced the increase in B.C.'s COVID-19 caseload that occurred throughout July, but added that she believes British Columbians have responded well to the increase.
"When we brought this up and voiced our concerns to British Columbians, we now know that they listened," Henry said. "And I would like to thank people for that. Thank you for resetting and rejoining our efforts to push our COVID-19 curve down and keep it low and slow in B.C."
There have been no new outbreaks of the virus in B.C. since Wednesday, Henry said, leaving two active health-care outbreaks and two community outbreaks in the province.
The provincial health officer said there have been no additional cases associated with the outbreak in Haida Gwaii over the last 24 hours, something she called "very good news." That said, there are still people on the islands who are within the virus's incubation period, so more cases "are certainly possible," Henry said.
Meanwhile, the outbreak at Fraser Valley Packers Inc. - a blueberry packing facility in Abbotsford - now has 59 cases associated with it, according to the provincial health officer.
Most of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began have been located in the Lower Mainland, with 1,076 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 1,865 in the Fraser Health region.
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 360 cases in Interior Health, 143 in Island Health and 86 in Northern Health. A total of 61 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C. reside outside of Canada.
Of B.C.'s total cases, 3,155 people are now considered fully recovered from the virus.
With the B.C. Day long weekend coming up, Henry said she's hopeful that the province will remain on its positive trajectory and not see a spike like the one that resulted from the Canada Day long weekend.
"I know that people, particularly around the Canada Day weekend, really had the need to get together, to have that joy of being together," she said. "And that is what we need to do for the rest of the summer, but we can do it safely and we need to do it safely and we've shown that we can."