B.C. records lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in a week

Province identified 13 new cases in the past day of the virus that has caused a global pandemic

B.C. recorded its lowest total of COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period in one week on July 14, when provincial health officer Bonnie Henry revealed that the BC Centre for Disease Control had identified 13 cases.

Exactly one week ago, on July 7, the province recorded 12 new cases. What followed was an uptick in recorded cases:
• 18 new cases on July 8;
• 20 new cases on July 9;
• 25 new cases on July 10;
• 21 new cases on July 11;
• 20 new cases on July 12; and
• 21 new cases on July 13.

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"I know it was distressing to me to see 20, especially 25 [new cases] one day," Henry said. "That's way above my comfort zone."

She added, however, that the slight rise in cases was not unexpected, given that the province has been allowing restaurants and other indoor businesses to reopen. 

"We do know where those cases are," she said. "We're testing the people who need to be tested."

It would be more concerning, she said, if the cases were spread out across the province in an unlinked way. The most recent cluster of cases is linked to the Krazy Cherry Fruit Company in Oliver, she announced yesterday (July 13).

Given B.C.'s population, 20 cases in one day is also better than some other jurisdictions, she said. 

The province has identified 3,128 infections since the virus first appeared in the province in late January. 

The breakdown of all COVID-19 infections by health region is:
• 1,015 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 1649 in Fraser Health;
• 135 in Island Health;
• 212 in Interior Health;
• 65 in Northern Health; and
• 52 people who reside outside Canada.

Of the 209 people currently fighting COVID-19 in B.C., 14 people are in hospital with five of those in intensive care units. That leaves 2,730 people who have recovered from the virus. 

No new deaths from the virus were identified in the past 24 hours, leaving the death toll at 189 people.

Two seniors' long-term care facilities have active outbreaks: Holy Family Hospital long-term care facility and Maple Hill long-term care facility. There also remains an outbreak at Mission Memorial Hospital, which spawned the outbreak at Maple Hill, when infected patients were transferred from the hospital. 

So far 399 residents and 252 staff at seniors' care facilities have been infected by COVID-19 in B.C.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said that it is his understanding that the federal government and the U.S. government have agreed to extend the closure of the two countries' border for one additional month, until August 21. 

"This is obviously positive and necessary news," he said. "Everybody who lives in B.C. knows how inconvenient and how difficult that is for many businesses and many individuals for a variety of circumstances."

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom 

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