B.C. records 14 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more death as province enters Phase 3
Health officials urge caution with province opening up to non-essential travel
B.C. has recorded 14 new cases of COVID-19, and one additional death, as the province enters Phase 3 of its gradual reopening.
A written statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said the new cases bring B.C.'s total to 2,849. Of those, 162 cases are active, and 2,516 people who tested positive have recovered.
There are currently 14 people in hospital, seven of them in intensive care.
There are no new community outbreaks and no new outbreaks in health-care systems. As well, the outbreak at Maersk Distribution Canada Inc. in Delta has been declared over.
Phase 3 means that B.C. residents will be allowed to travel within the province as hotels, motels, resorts, spas, and RV parks look to reopen.
But Henry and Dix continue to urge caution as people venture to other parts of B.C.
"No matter where we may be this summer, remember that COVID-19 is still with us. So let's make sure we travel respectfully, by using our travel manners, planning ahead, being prepared and maintaining safe social interactions," said the statement from the province.
"Before you go, do your research. Check in with the community to understand if it is welcoming visitors and what services are available and what may still be closed. Take your provisions with you if needed, and while away, take the same safety precautions you have been doing at home.
Premier John Horgan said at a news conference earlier on Wednesday that it is critical British Columbians continue with foundational health guidelines, which have helped with the province's success in flattening its curve since March: physical distancing, wearing a mask when distancing is not possible, washing hands and staying home if sick.
Gatherings with more than 50 people are still banned.
The reopening comes one day after the release of new modelling numbers updating the status of COVID-19 infections in B.C.
Those numbers showed recent person-to-person contact rates in the province were at 65 per cent of normal, up from 30 per cent at the pandemic's peak.