COVID-19: No deaths and 131 new cases reported over past three days

Health Minister Adrian Dix says enough is enough with private parties.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provide an update on COVID-19 on June 16, 2020. Herman Thind/Government of British Columbia [PNG Merlin Archive]

There have been 131 new cases of COVID-19 reported in British Columbia over the past three days and no deaths.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were now 455 active cases of the disease, of which nine are being treated in hospital including three in intensive care.

While the number of active cases continues to rise, there are fewer people in hospital and critical care and no deaths now for eight days. The death toll sits at 195.

Over the past month, eight people have died in B.C. from COVID-19, while in Alberta 48 people had died in the same time frame and 272 in Washington State.

Henry said there were two new outbreaks in health-care facilities – at the George Derby Manor (Burnaby) and New Vista Care Centre (Burnaby) – and no new community outbreaks. Both were linked to one case that had been identified.

However, there are more community cases being reported and more COVID-19 infected people arriving in the province on planes.

On Monday, Fraser Health issued a notice of possible COVID-19 exposure at a public event in the Surrey neighbourhood of Whalley.

The authority is warning anyone who was at the Royals Jerk Spot Weekend Summer Fest Day and Night Rave at Royal Beauty Supply – 13553 105A Ave. – on July 31 and Aug. 1 to monitor themselves.

Henry said there were now 1,765 people in self isolation, including many young people who had been exposed at parties.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the number of people in self isolation was disturbing.

“We need to say enough to private parties where social distancing is not possible,” Dix said.

Several parties have been broken up in B.C. by authorities, while some fines have been given to organizers.

B.C. and Nova Scotia are reporting more cases among young people than other provinces.

Henry said she was concerned that party buses were still operating in the province.

She said law enforcement and bylaw officers would fine the organizers of gatherings with more than 50 people, though she preferred the carrot over the stick to ensure compliance.

She said health-care workers in particular should be avoiding social gatherings.

Henry said that masks were recommended for older children once in-class learning resumed, but they would not be mandated. She said the mask was the least effective of the various layers of protection, behind social distancing and physical barriers.

More to come.

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