VICTORA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. recorded 11 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, while just 11 people remained in hospital with the virus — the lowest total since mid-March.
The number of people in hospital due to the coronavirus is down from a peak of 149 on April 2 and 4.
Hospitalizations were at seven on March 17, and 13 the next day.
The total on Tuesday was down two from the previous day, while five people are in intensive care.
Health Min. @adriandix reminds us there were 149 people in hospital at beginning of April and now there are 11, "so in objective terms, there is improvement."
Also says more people are seeking out healthcare with more people visiting emergency rooms and hospitals again.
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) June 16, 2020
The province reported no new deaths Tuesday for the fourth straight day.
However, a new outbreak has been declared at Maple Hill, a long-term care facility in Langley.
“But COVID-19 is still around. We see it in new cases and indeed today. We see it in a new outbreak,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Of the new cases, one was epi-linked.
B.C. has recorded 2,756 cases in total, with a recovery rate close to 88 per cent.
Dr Henry and Health Min @adriandix with today's update in a couple minutes.
Yesterday we learned BC didn't lose any more lives over the weekend and 36 new cases over three days.
Another LTC centre affected today – Maple Hill #bcpoli #covid19 @news1130 pic.twitter.com/3zsxCw7Hwi
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) June 16, 2020
Of the cases, 172 remain active — down 10 from the day before.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said keeping case totals low is key to easing more restrictions in the province.
“To do this, we have been and will continue to open what is safe to open and keeping closed those things that are more risky. We know that closed spaces, particularly closed spaces with poor ventilation, close contact — particularly if it’s over a period of time — and crowds are the higher risk,” she added.
“So things that involve these will continue to have restrictions in the coming months. We are being thoughtful and measured in our response and we’re adapting as we go. It is a gradual transition, and we’re slowly turning up the dimmer switch, as we learn to adapt at each of the stages that we’re going through.”
Talking about easing restrictions, Dr Henry says key is to do this slowly to keep growth and keep up precautions as we open up.
Closed-in spaces, close contact and crowds are higher risk.#bcpoli #covid19 @news1130
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) June 16, 2020
Henry added health officials will next work to develop new guidelines for businesses such as spas and resorts, as well as activities such as recreational sports to relax restrictions and open other parts of the economy.
She reiterated that health and safety restrictions, along with contact tracing are what has led to low case numbers in B.C. and help prevent rapid outbreaks. She is monitoring what’s happening in other places around the world, China in particular, as well as the U.S., where people are requiring hospitalization.
“And that’s what we need to avoid, and we think, with the things that we’re doing, the foundations that we have here, that we’ve all sort of learned over this transition that we can keep it at a minimum level and prevent those super spreading events and explosive outbreaks,” Henry said.
Dix noted that people are also returning to the health-care system, while the province takes precautions in the event of a second wave.
“Yesterday, 5,548 people visited emergency rooms across B.C. That was the second-highest number since the beginning of the declaration pandemic.”
He added during the pandemic, B.C. has used around 12,000 N95 masks per day, compared to 1,800 per day before — an increase of 567 per cent.
Dix also said the province is establishing a testing site in Vancouver for personal protective equipment and is seeking more makers in B.C.
“We need to prepare for the potential that supply chains freeze up again,” Dix said.