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Posted: May 21, 2020

B.C.’s COVID-19 response and latest updates for May 21

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, today (May 21) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia.

B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

Today, we have 12 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 2,479 cases in British Columbia.

There are 307 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,020 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 43 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 887 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,223 in the Fraser Health region, 126 in the Island Health region, 183 in the Interior Health region and 60 in the Northern Health region.

We are saddened to report three new COVID-19 related deaths, one in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and two in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 152 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of these individuals, as well as to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been no new health-care outbreaks, and the outbreak at the Windermere Care Centre has now been declared over. In total, 14 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and three acute-care units have active outbreaks.

The Mountain Institution, a federal corrections facility, has one confirmed case of COVID-19 in an inmate who had recently transferred from the Matsqui Institution. Fraser Health public health teams are investigating and assisting at both facilities.

The outbreak at United Poultry has been declared over. Public health teams continue to provide support at the remaining community outbreaks, including at the Oppenheimer Group, those in the poultry sector, at the Mission Institution and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.

Our priority is the health and safety of British Columbians. Our personal circumstances are unique, but the actions we can take to protect each other and ourselves are the same.

As we progress safely into Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan, we can all learn from the many people who have been working so hard to provide essential services, while keeping themselves and their households safe.

One example is the use of non-medical masks or cloth face coverings. As we have seen on public transit or in a barbershop, a non-medical mask keeps our droplets in and provides an extra layer of protection for people around us when it is difficult to keep a safe physical distance or when services require people to be in close contact for periods of time.

We must also continue to move slowly and with caution, and this is the approach that is being taken as child care centres reopen and schools resume some in-class learning.

Schools have strict protocols for enhanced infection prevention and workplace health and safety. Safe physical distancing measures will be in place, and anyone who is ill will not be allowed into any school.

Dr. Bonnie Henry

Like all illnesses that can be transmitted through close contact, school communities are notified as part of active public health contact tracing when someone in the school community has a confirmed case. Any close contacts who are susceptible are also required to stay home and self-isolate.

If you are unsure or have questions, contact your family physician or 811 to help determine the best steps for you and your family.

The province-wide survey, Your story, our future, is an opportunity to share your personal experience with COVID-19 so far. Take a few minutes to join the 290,000 British Columbians who have already completed the survey, or help someone else to do the same.

Let’s continue to move carefully forward with kindness and compassion, and let’s make sure we are working together to keep our curve flat.

Lead image: A sign encouraging people to stay strong along Cranbrook’s 13th Street South. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photo

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