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B.C. records 83 COVID-19 cases, extends state of emergency

Last Updated Aug 18, 2020 at 8:16 pm PST

FILE - Health Minister Adrian Dix. (Courtesy B.C. Government, Flickr)
Summary

83 more people in BC have been infected with COVID-19

The number of active cases and in quarantine continues to rise

The province has also extended its provincial state of emergency

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. recorded 83 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the same day the province extended its state of emergency.

While there are no deaths or new health care facility and community outbreaks, the total number of cases has risen to 4,677, reads a joint statement from the Minister of Health Adrian Dix and B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson.

There are 775 active cases and more than 2,300 people self-isolating after possible COVID-19 exposures. B.C.’s recovery rate inches up every so slightly from 79.1 to 79.2 per cent.

“If you have COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, public health teams are here to support you. You can help them and your community by answering their call quickly and providing as much information as you can. Quickly isolating people who have COVID-19 and reaching their contacts is one of the most effective ways of controlling spread.”

The statement adds, it’s important to self-isolate for 14 days if you have been exposed to the virus and avoid large gatherings.

“We need to continue to protect those who are most vulnerable – our seniors and Elders, and those with underlying health conditions – by thinking about who we are being exposed to, and who we may be exposing, when spending time with others,” the statement reads. “Seeing friends may seem safe, but if you are in close contact with an elderly family member, your visit may inadvertently put them at risk.”

B.C. state of emergency extended

Earlier in the day, the provincial government extended its provincial state of emergency that gives it “extraordinary powers” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first state of emergency was declared on Mar. 18, the day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency.

This latest extension will end on Sept. 1 and allows the government to manage immediate concerns, such as recent outbreaks in some areas of the province.

Premier John Horgan says B.C. residents have made sacrifices to keep transmission rates down, but now unsafe gatherings are eroding that progress.

“We’re committed to getting our province back on track and will be announcing enforcement action against those who continue to put others at risk,” he says.

COVID-19 infection rates have jumped in the province recently after parties were held where health officials say people haven’t followed guidelines to avoid infection.