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Dr. Bonnie Henry appeals to British Columbians to help flatten curve, reports 29 new COVID-19 cases

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Jul 30, 2020 at 4:38 pm PDT

FILE - Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced no new deaths related to COVID-19 over the past three days. (Courtesy B.C. Government)
Summary

Health officials appealed to British Columbians on Thursday to help flatten the curve again

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 29 new cases of the coronavirus, but no new deaths

The majority of new cases are again linked to the blueberry packing plant in Abbotsford

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Health officials appealed to British Columbians on Thursday to help flatten the curve again and be more responsible on the B.C. Day long weekend than many were on Canada Day.

Over the past few weeks, new COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in the province have surged. And Dr. Bonnie Henry says the increase can be connected to Canada Day activities in and around the central Okanagan — particularly around the city of Kelowna.

However, Henry says she is thankful British Columbians have heard health experts’ concerns and made changes.

“Thank you for resetting and rejoining our efforts to push our COVID-19 curve down and keep it low and slow in B.C. so that we can manage this outbreak and continue to open up our society to have those important social connections that we need, as well as to increase our economic activities,” she said.

“Let’s make this long weekend a different one than what we saw in early July. Whether you are 15, 25 or 55, celebrate our incredible province by socializing safely. The actions you take do make a difference and we have seen that in the last few weeks, what you do this weekend will determine how we are going to be able to manage in the weeks and months ahead.”

B.C.’s cases and outbreaks update

More than 70 cases of COVID-19 were recorded, and more than 1,000 people had to self-isolate as the result of a community exposure in Kelowna on the Canada Day long weekend.

Only three times in the past three weeks has the province recorded fewer than 20 new cases.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 29 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, but no new deaths.

The total number of deaths from COVID-19 in B.C. remains 194.

The majority of new cases are again linked to the blueberry packing plant in Abbotsford, which had 31 cases as of Wednesday.

“There are now 59 cases associated with the Fraser Valley Packers,” Henry said.

The new cases follow a day when there were 41 reported and bring the total to 3,591 in the province.

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B.C. recorded no new healthcare facility or community outbreaks. However, outbreaks remain active at one long-term care home — Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver — and an acute-care facility.

Henry also reported no new cases and Haida Gwaii, which had 20 as of Wednesday.

“We continue to monitor, however, and there are a number of people who remain within the incubation period. So, new cases are certainly possible,” she added.

Of 242 active cases in B.C., five people are in hospital, including two in intensive care. The provincial recovery rate remains around 88 per cent.

Cases by health region since the start of the pandemic: 1,076 in Vancouver Coastal; 1,865 in Fraser; 143 people on Vancouver Island; 360, in Interior; 86 in Northern; and 61 people who reside outside of Canada.

Henry offered a reminder that there are no health concerns related to the consumption of fruits and vegetables and from a location where people have been confirmed to have COVID-19,

“And that is something that we are fairly confident of now, having had a number of outbreaks around the world. But I will also remind you that it’s important to wash fruit and vegetables carefully before eating them, particularly if you’re going to eat them raw.”