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Joint statement on Province of B.C.’s COVID-19 response and latest updates

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“Today, we are providing case updates for two 24-hour reporting periods: April 25 to 26, and April 26 through to midday today.

“In the first reporting period through April 26, we had 39 new cases, for a total of 1,987 cases in British Columbia.

“In the last 24 hours, we have had a further 11 new cases, for a total of 1,998 cases in British Columbia.

“This represents 50 new cases since we reported on Saturday.

“Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 795 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 879 are in the Fraser Health region, 117 are in the Island Health region, 164 are in the Interior Health region and 43 are in the Northern Health region.

“We are saddened to report three new COVID-19 related deaths for a total of 103 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones.

“Since we last reported, there have been two new long-term care outbreaks at the Valhaven Home and MSA Manor facilities in the Fraser Health region. In total, 20 facilities and three acute-care units have active outbreaks, with outbreaks now declared over at 12 care facilities, including most recently, Central City Lodge.

“Public health teams are also providing support to a number of community outbreaks, actively contact tracing those who may be direcly affected and their close contacts.

“As of today, 25 employees have now been confirmed positive at Superior Poultry in Coquitlam, and 34 employees are confirmed positive at United Poultry in Vancouver.

“There are 118 inmates and staff confirmed positive at the Mission Institution federal correctional centre.

“Given the close ties between our provinces, many B.C. residents continue to travel to Alberta for essential work. To date, there are 11 positive cases of COVID-19 connected to the Kearl Lake plant  in Alberta. Anyone who has been in Kearl Lake since March 24, or is a close contact of a worker and who has symptoms of COVID-19, is required to immediately self-isolate and contact 811 or public health for assessment and testing.

“To date, 1,190 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.

“Of the total COVID-19 cases, 97 individuals are currently hospitalized, 36 of those are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

“There is clear evidence that your sustained efforts to follow public health measures are working. Safe physical distancing, combined with self-isolation requirements, have slowed the rate of transmission.

“Through our increased surveillance testing, new community outbreaks are being identified, enabling public health teams to quickly undertake contact tracing and isolate those who may be exposed.

“This is the work that we will need to do for many months to come, and this is what we need your help to continue. We must not allow hot spots to flare.

“We have a made-in-B.C. response to COVID-19 that reflects the unique circumstances of the pandemic in our province, as demonstrated by the recent challenge of spring flooding and the upcoming forest fire season.

“Through the commitment and hard work of all British Columbians, we are now making plans to ease restrictions and find our ‘new normal’ in the coming weeks.

“Our focus is to provide a consistent framework for sectors to operate within, as we have done with the many essential businesses.

“The guidance published on April 25 for essential retail food and grocery stores is one example of the approach we will take moving forward to ensure appropriate physical distancing and proper hygiene.

“To ease restrictions, we need to know that businesses are looking after your teams. Simply put, protecting your employees protects your business. How you do that is to ensure employees can safely do their jobs while at work, and equally important, are not penalized by staying home when ill.

“Our go-forward plan is built on all our good work, commitment, and ongoing efforts to work together and take care of each other.”

Learn More:

Victims of family and sexual violence can find support from VictimLinkBC by calling 1 800 563-0808
Or online: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/priority-populations/people-who-may-be-or-are-experiencing-violence

Victims of family and sexual violence can find support from Women’s Support Services by calling 1 855 687-1868, texting 604 652-1867
Or online: https://www.bwss.org/

For the provincial health officer’s orders, notices and guidance, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/phoguidance

To learn where, when and how people with symptoms can be tested, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing

The COVID-19 self-assessment app, which includes details about where, when and how to be tested, can be downloaded here: https://bc.thrive.health/

For information on how returning travellers can submit self-isolation plans, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/self-isolation-on-return 

For mental-health and anxiety support visit: www.bouncebackbc.ca 
Or: www.anxietycanada.com

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, follow @CDCofBC on Twitter or visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/

For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.

For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community from COVID-19, visit: www.bccdc.ca/

For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BCProvincialGovernment/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGovNews 
Youtube: www.youtube.com/ProvinceofBC

A backgrounder follows.

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