B.C. confirms 12 more cases of COVID-19 as province extends state of emergency to late July
Virus continues to circulate in community, warns provincial health officer
As B.C. once again extends its state of emergency, another 12 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, but no new deaths have been recorded.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the latest numbers in a written statement Tuesday, saying there are now 162 active cases of the disease in the province.
To date, 183 people have died of infection with the novel coronavirus, out of 2,990 confirmed patients. Sixteen people are in hospital with COVID-19, including four in intensive care.
"Regardless of your age, we know that COVID-19 can cause severe and serious illness. Until effective treatment or a vaccine is available, we all need to stay vigilant," Henry and Dix said.
"British Columbians have flattened the curve, and to weather this storm, everyone in B.C. needs to do their part, whether at home, at work or on vacation. We can protect our communities, our seniors, elders and our loved ones by working together while staying apart."
The latest numbers were released just minutes before provincial officials announced that B.C. is extending its state of emergency over COVID-19 until July 21.
"We're starting to see some restrictions lifting, but there are measures we need to keep in place to continue battling COVID-19," Premier John Horgan said in a news release.
"We will continue to take the necessary steps to make sure British Columbians are safe and that the most vulnerable people are protected, while experts work to find a treatment or vaccine."
Another outbreak ends in long-term care
Another outbreak in long-term care has been declared over — the Tabor Home in Abbotsford. That leaves two active outbreaks in long-term care and one in an acute care unit of a hospital.
There are currently no active community outbreaks in B.C., but Henry and Dix caution that "new cases and community exposure events continue to occur."
This includes possible exposure to the virus at Vancouver's Hotel Belmont bar and nightclub on June 27 and 29. Any patrons who were there on those nights have been asked to monitor themselves for symptoms.
"It is important to remember that the more people you see and the more places you go, the higher the likelihood is that you'll come into contact with someone with COVID-19," Henry and Dix said.
"To protect yourself, the best things you can do are to keep the number of people you see to a minimum and as much as possible, maintain a safe distance from others and use a mask when that is challenging."
The new cases announced Tuesday include one that is epidemiologically linked, meaning that a patient has met the public health definition for COVID-19 but may not have had access to testing at the time of their illness.