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No new COVID-19 deaths in B.C., five new cases

Last Updated Jun 4, 2020 at 4:48 pm PDT

FILE - Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a daily COVID-19 briefing on Monday, April 13, 2020. (Courtesy Government of B.C.)

There weren't any deaths reported in B.C. for the fifth time in just over a week

Five new cases were recorded and one new community outbreak

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The provincial health officer has again reported no new deaths in B.C. and five new cases.

This is the fifth time in just over a week no deaths have been recorded by the province.

However, there is one new community outbreak at the Beresford Warming Centre, a shelter in Burnaby.

“There are three confirmed cases, and we’re hopeful that means the transmission has been limited,” Dr. Bonnie Henry says, adding most of the cases are staff.

Public health teams are on-site at the shelter, she says, and tracking down anyone who might have come in contact with the patients.

There are currently six outbreaks in health care facilities, but no new ones reported Thursday.

Henry also noted the province is keeping a close eye on a surge in cases, given some large crowds gathering for recent demonstrations.

“We know there continues to be fairly high transmission in Washington State. We know that across the country we’re continuing to see cases. We’re not immune to bringing it into British Columbia. We know we have travel into the province that’s essential and sometimes that can bring risk with it as well.”

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“We all have a role to play in continuing our pandemic response in B.C. and what we do today will make that difference in the coming weeks,” she says.

Nearly 2,300 people who’ve tested for the virus have since recovered.

Thursday’s update also came as the province announced new modelling for the virus.

As for surgeries, Health Minister Adrian Dix says the number of surgeries have almost returned pre-pandemic levels.

“This week the number of surgeries was 5,174. To put that in context, given the challenges with respect to productivity, we average around 6,000 surgeries in the pre-COVID period in a week, both urgent surgeries and scheduled surgeries, sometimes called selective surgeries. So we’re getting closer.”

The single-site initiative – where staff are only to work at one facility in the health care field – is fully implemented at 493 sites. There are still 33 sites, primarily assisted living sites, that have yet to shift to the single-site plan.

“I think this is an important step we’ve taken, and a remarkable achievement that’s happened in the context of COVID-19 in the last number of weeks,” Dix says. “It’s because we made the decision to level-up, as you know, hourly wages to union wages in accordance with the terms of single staffing.”

Ensuring workers are treated fairly and appropriately was necessary to make this initiative happen, Dix adds.

He points to that initiative, limiting international visitors, the precautions laid out by Henry, testing and effective contract tracing for the success of limiting the spread of the virus in the province.

“But at the core of all of these successful actions, at the heart of our success in B.C. is us. Our success in stopping the spread and moving through Phase 2 and perhaps beyond, our success in keeping ourselves, our elders, and those we love rests on us.”

Dix reminds everyone to practise physical distancing and stay home when feeling sick to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Our actions save lives,” he says.