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New cases fall to four;no new health-care outbreaks

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, commends the many businesses that have worked hard to put the necessary safety measures in place.

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 announcing four new cases, for a total of 2,601 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 207 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,229 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 31 individuals are hospitalized, eight of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 904 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,311 in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Island Health region, 195 in the Interior Health region and 64 in the Northern Health region.

"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 165 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There have been no new health-care outbreaks and five outbreaks have now been declared over, including at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, Amica Edgemont Village, Royal Arch Masonic Home, Chartwell Willow Retirement Community and the Eden Care Centre. In total, eight long-term care or assisted-living facilities continue to have active outbreaks.

"There have been two new community outbreaks within office environments at New World Technologies and at Maersk Distribution Canada Inc. Both workplaces have two cases and are in the Fraser Health region. Public health teams are on site actively investigating and contact tracing.

"Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at federal corrections facilities, the processing facilities in the poultry sector and for individuals connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.

"In recent days, businesses have reopened throughout our province. This is welcome news for all of us, and we have seen many examples of how business owners are getting creative and learning how to operate safely and responsibly.

"A posted COVID-19 WorkSafeBC safety plan, whether online or at the front door, is a clear indicator that a business has done its homework. It means we can visit the store, enjoy a meal or have a workout with confidence.

"An effective plan uses multiple layers of protection for employees and customers alike, incorporating such things as barriers for safe physical distancing, one-way pathways, employee training or non-medical cloth masks.

"Businesses that may be considering COVID-19 testing and screening need to remember that testing does not replace the many steps that are required to keep everyone safe. Relying on one layer is not enough.

"Testing will help to identify those who have COVID-19 so those individuals can isolate and public health can begin contact tracing, but can be unreliable for those who are asymptomatic.

"Someone who is negative one day may be positive the next. That is why testing alone does not insulate your business from COVID-19. A reliable test and accredited diagnostic facility, and co-ordination with local public health teams, are also a necessity if you include testing in your safety plan.

"We commend the many businesses that have worked hard to put the necessary safety measures in place. Your thoughtful planning will help us all to stay safe and keep our curve flat."