British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for June 8, 2020

Officials report 30 new cases, but no new deaths, since Friday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports 30 new cases detected in last 3 days

People are pictured during the Black Lives Matter rally in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday, June 5, 2020. Several anti-racism protest were held across the province over the weekend. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports 30 new cases in B.C. since Friday.
  • There were 183 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C. as of Monday.
  • 16 people are in hospital, including four in intensive care.
  • To date, there have been 2,659 confirmed cases of the illness.
  • 167 people have died.
  • 2,309 people have recovered.
  • Immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed to come to Canada from the U.S., the federal government says.
  • BC Ferries will require passengers to bring face masks with them as of June 15.
  • Experts are praising B.C.'s Chinese community for their early efforts to contain the coronavirus's spread.
  • Some recreational businesses are reopening.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since Friday but no new deaths.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provided their first COVID-19 update in three days on Monday afternoon. They took the weekend off from regular news conferences.

As of Monday afternoon, B.C. had 183 active cases of COVID-19.

There are now 16 people in hospital with the disease, four of whom are in intensive care.

B.C. has detected 2,659 cases so far and 2,309 people have recovered.

There are four active outbreaks in long-term care homes, while community outbreaks at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry and Superior Poultry have been declared over.

The province says Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will now only do broadcast briefings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week. 

Border exemptions, new BC Ferries policy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an exemption to the Canada-U.S. border shutdown to allow immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to visit from the U.S.

The exemption includes spouses, children, parents or guardians. Visitors to Canada will have to quarantine for 14 days and plan to stay in the country for at least 15 days, the prime minister said Monday. The border was closed to all non-essential visitors in mid-March.

The Peace Arch-Douglas border crossing between Canada and the United States in Surrey, B.C., on March 18. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Also on Monday, BC Ferries said, as of June 15 in order to travel, all passengers will be required to bring a face mask that covers their mouth and nose. The rule applies for routes longer than 30 minutes for all passengers over the age of two, including people travelling by car.

Passengers who don't have a mask will not be allowed to board. The statement from the ferry corporation said customers must bring their own masks as the corporation will not be handing them out.

Chinese community 'showed great leadership' in curbing COVID-19

The Chinese community's early efforts to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in B.C. appear to have paid off, despite some of its members being stigmatized because of the virus, according to infectious disease doctors.

The province released data last week showing Richmond, B.C. — the city with the highest concentration of Chinese residents in the province — has had the lowest percentage of cases on the Lower Mainland, home to the bulk of B.C.'s cases.

Meals are prepared for the Chopsticks to Health Care Heroes initiative inside the Fortune Terrace restaurant in Richmond, B.C., on April 6. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

There have also been no new active cases in Richmond since May 18. It's the only part of the Lower Mainland where that is the case.

"Whether that is a direct impact of early distancing and early aggressive manoeuvres on behalf of the [Chinese] community, it's impossible to say, but clearly there is an association there," said Dr. Srinivas Murthy, co-chair of the World Health Organization's clinical research committee on COVID-19.

UBC infectious diseases specialist Dr. Peter Phillips agreed the "evidence is pretty clear" that the community "showed great leadership" in the early fight against the virus.

One-third of students back in school

The Ministry of Education said more than 157,000 kindergarten to Grade 12 students — or nearly 30 per cent of all students in those grades — went back to school after classrooms opened again on a voluntary basis last week. The last day of school for students is June 25.

Grouse Mountain, amusement park reopening

Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver will start a phased reopening on June 22. The mountain said it will start welcoming annual passholders and guests who need a download after hiking the Grouse Grind, which reopens the same day. 

The Central City Fun Park in Surrey reopened on Sunday. Guests to both the mountain and the amusement park will need to wear masks and there are limits on the number of people permitted at each location.

A guest wearing a protective face mask plays a game at Central City Fun Park on their opening weekend, in Surrey, B.C., on Sunday, June 7, 2020. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

READ MORE:

Top COVID-19 stories today

Important reminders:

Health officials widely agree the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. 

The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 4:30 a.m. PT on Monday, Canada had 95,699 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 54,233 considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 7,859.

For a look at what's happening across the country and the world, check the CBC interactive case tracker.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority or 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

Find information about COVID-19 from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available in B.C. from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. PT, seven days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep at least two metres away from people who are sick.
  • When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Masks won't fully protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca

With files from The Canadian Press

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