The collective efforts of British Columbians are helping the province to move forward in reopening.
B.C. announced the province is progressing to the second stage of the reopening plan today at a news conference with B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix were joined by B.C. Premier John Horgan; Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation Minister Ravi Kahlon in Victoria; and Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport Minister Melanie Mark from Vancouver.
Among the areas that will be restarted or increased include indoor and outdoor gatherings, including cinemas, theatres, and more; indoor physical activity; sports spectators; liquor service extended to midnight; and recreational travel within the province. (Further details are available in this article.)
Amid the excitement of reopening, Henry did say that risks will remain present and that, based on modelling, we can expect case numbers to increase as things open up.
However, she said public health will actively manage every single case to “keep a lid on things” and that she doesn’t think that the province will need to reverse course.
“I don’t expect, with what we know now, we’ll have to go back but may need to slow going forward, depending on what happens,” she said.
B.C. update: June 11 to 14
For the first time in months, B.C. has reported some new case counts that are below 100 cases—signs that B.C. has worked hard on bringing case numbers down.
B.C. has had a total of 277 new COVID-19 cases (including one epi-linked case) over the weekend, which includes:
- 96 new cases from June 11 to 12;
- 113 new cases from June 12 to 13;
- 68 new cases from June 13 to 14.
Vancouver Coastal Health, which has usually had the second most cases in the province throughout the pandemic, continues to have fewer new cases than Interior Health this week.
By region, the new case total includes:
- 148 new cases in Fraser Health (53 percent);
- 63 in Interior Health (23 percent);
- 36 in Vancouver Coastal Health (13 percent);
- 16 in Northern Health (six percent);
- 12 in Island Health (four percent);
- two people from outside of Canada.
Currently, there are 1,537 active cases, which is a drop of 343 cases since June 11. There are 136 individuals in hospitals (a decrease of 26 cases since Friday), with 42 of those patients in intensive care units (three fewer than June 11).
Once again, there are a number of new deaths, which serve as a tragic reminder of the risks still present.
Sadly, there were four new COVID-19-related deaths over the weekend. B.C. has had a total of 1,734 people who have died during the pandemic of COVID-19-related causes.
With 621 recoveries since June 11, there are now 143,147 people (98 percent) who have recovered.
B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 146,453 COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.
The B.C. immunization program passed another major milestone by exceeding the 4 million mark.
As of today, a total of 4,048,346 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered in B.C., and 613,453 of those are second doses.
Almost 76 percent of all adults in B.C. and 74 percent of all those 12 years and above have received their first vaccine doses.
Anyone who received one or more doses outside of B.C. needs to register in the provincial immunization registry in order to have a record of their vaccination status.
Outbreaks and exposures
On June 12, Vancouver Coastal Health declared two healthcare outbreaks to be over at:
- an acute care unit at Richmond Hospital, where 13 people tested positive (including two staff);
- the Richmond Lions Manor-Bridgeport longterm care home, where five people tested positive (including two staff).
A total of three people died (including one resident at Richmond Lions Manor) in these two outbreaks.
Henry and Dix also stated that the outbreak at the Iqra Islamic School in Surrey is now over.
None of the five regional health authorities listed any new healthcare or community outbreaks, public exposure events, or businesses closed due to COVID-19.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following flights to its public exposure lists:
- June 6: American Airlines 1415, Dallas to Vancouver, affected rows 2 to 4;
- June 8: WestJet 119, Calgary to Vancouver, affected rows 1 to 4.
Loblaw listed a second employee at Joe's No Frills (471 Arrow Road) in Invermere, who last worked there on June 7, as testing positive. The previous employee who tested positive there last worked at the location on June 3.