Provincial update on novel coronavirus in B.C.
Letter to the Editor
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO), have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in British Columbia:
On Tuesday, Jan. 27, we confirmed that our BC Centre for Disease Control public health lab had identified a positive test for 2019-nCoV. Following this, samples were sent to the National Medical Laboratory in Winnipeg for additional testing. On Wednesday, Jan. 28, Dr. Henry confirmed that those tests returned positive for 2019-nCoV. As of today, B.C. continues to have only one confirmed case.
In our statements, we committed to regularly provide the public with the number of cases tested each Friday. Going forward, the public are invited to visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website for an updated testing number each Friday.
As of today (Jan. 31), we have tested 114 samples for 2019-nCoV, with one positive. Please note that there are more samples tested than patients, as some patients have had more than one sample tested.
We want to reassure people that the risk of this virus spreading within British Columbia remains low at this time. All necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection. We have multiple systems in place to prepare for, detect and respond to prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases in the province.
It is not necessary for the general public to take special precautions beyond the usual measures recommended to prevent other common respiratory viruses during winter. Regular handwashing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and avoiding contact with sick people are important ways to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, generally.
Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of, the coronavirus should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 811. Translation services for 811 are available in more than 130 languages.
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health,
Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer