B.C. ends week with fewest new COVID-19 cases since March

Canada World

Four more people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C., officials said Friday, ending a week that saw the lowest number of new cases in the province since March. 

In the past seven days, there have been 56 new cases, the lowest number of any week since a public health emergency was declared on March 18.

Officials also said the disease had caused no deaths in the past 24 hours. 

The latest numbers come less than two weeks after B.C. entered the second phase of its restart plan, allowing businesses like restaurants, personal service establishments and libraries to reopen. 

There are still 228 active cases in B.C. Thirty-four people remain in hospital, six of them in intensive care. The others are recovering at home. 

A total of 2,562 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the province and 164 people have died.

Outbreaks continue at 15 long-term care homes or assisted-living facilities, and one acute-care unit officials said. 

People have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in every health region in B.C. 

The Fraser Health Region has had the most, with 1,277 cases. There have been 900 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region, 195 in the Interior Health Region, 127 in the Island Health Region and 63 in the Northern Health Region.

Public health teams are continuing to provide support with community outbreaks at federal corrections facilities, poultry processing facilities and for cases connected to the Kearl Lake oilsands site in Alberta.

On Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Mission Institution federal prison, once one of the largest in B.C., has been declared over. A total of 120 inmates and several correctional officers tested positive and one inmate died in the outbreak.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Friday commended the federal government’s decision to restrict large cruise ships from entering Canadian ports until at least Oct. 31.

The tourism sectors in Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria generated around $840 million and $130 million, respectively, during cruise-ship season in recent years.

Earlier this month, Henry said, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, cruise ship passengers would not be permitted to disembark in B.C. even if the ships were allowed to dock at the province’s ports.

“This is the right thing to do for our country and our province right now to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our coastal communities,” the statement said Friday. 

“Easing restrictions can be done only after thoughtful consideration.”

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