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Posted: June 23, 2020

B.C.’s COVID-19 response and latest updates for June 23

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, today (June 23) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia.

Today, we are announcing 13 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 2,835 cases in British Columbia.

There are 174 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,491 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 16 individuals are hospitalized, seven of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 960 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,480 in the Fraser Health region, 131 in the Island Health region, 199 in the Interior Health region and 65 in the Northern Health region.

There has been one new COVID-19 related death in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 170 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 facility outbreaks. In total, six long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility have active outbreaks.

There have been no new community outbreaks. Public health teams continue to provide support for the three remaining community locations.

Today’s modelling shows us that in British Columbia the measures we have in place to protect ourselves and each other from COVID-19, combined with the slow, gradual transition in Phase 2, is working.

We have eased our restrictions in a way that has allowed us to increase our social interactions to around 65%, while keeping our new cases of COVID-19 low.

Looking ahead, until we have an effective treatment or vaccine, the rules for safe social interactions must continue to be maintained as part of our everyday activities to stay at this manageable level.

The modelling tells us that if we go too far, we risk a rapid rebound in B.C., something many others are now experiencing.

To continue to maintain this careful balance, we have to keep doing what we’re doing as individuals and we all know what we need to do.

The foundations of safety are clear: always stay home when ill, follow good handwashing hygiene, maintain a safe physical distance and use barriers and a non-medical mask if that is challenging. These are our layers of protection and will help protect us all.

Effective contact tracing is another important layer of protection. As individuals, we also have an important role to play in contact tracing. It is a team effort and requires commitment from all of us to be successful.

Our responsibility is to keep our bubbles small and know everyone we are with at all times, to allow public health teams to notify everyone who may be at risk and contain the spread as quickly as possible.

This approach applies to all of us, no matter where we may be: at home, at work, at school or travelling to another community.

The things that we do, the decisions we make each day, make a difference. We can find the balance as we chart our cautious path forward. Together, let’s continue to do our part to protect our province, our communities, our Elders and loved ones.

The latest modelling presentation and information is available online.

Lead image: Social distancing signage at the front of Body Talk in Cranbrook. Carrie Schafer/e-KNOW photo

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