Nine new cases of coronavirus in B.C. were announced on Saturday by provincial authorities, including a presumptive case in the Interior Health region.
The province’s top health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said the Interior Health case was related to international travel, “to a number of places in Europe, most recently from Portugal.”
Henry said the case is Interior Health’s second case, though no information was released as to where the case is located.
Interior Health covers a large area and provides service to more than 700,000 people from the South Cariboo to the Okanagan to the Kootenays.
Interior Health said all responses regarding coronavirus are being coordinated by the province.
Of the remaining eight, seven were in the Vancouver Coastal area, with one in the Fraser Health region. Overall, B.C. now has 73 cases of coronavirus.
During the daily press gathering, Henry later said people need to make their own assessment, and that travellers who come back to B.C. are being asked to self-isolate for two weeks.
Later in the day, the Ministry of Health issued a press release attributed to Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix.
“From the outset, we have been proactive in our efforts. Our approach has been to get ahead of increasing risks and do all we can to break the chains of transmission, and we will continue to do so,” said the press release.
“We are adapting our testing strategy to respond to the situation here in B.C. to ensure all who get sick can get the testing they need.
“We would like to be clear that testing is available for all who need it, but not everyone requires a test. If you have no symptoms, mild symptoms, or are a returning traveller and isolating at home, you do not require a test.”
On Feb. 14, Henry announced Interior Health’s first presumptive case of coronavirus, a woman who had travelled from Shanghai, China, to Vancouver, then to the Interior by private vehicle.
No information was given as to what community the woman was from. That case was also B.C.’s fifth presumptive case of coronavirus.
The press release also asked B.C. residents to stop stockpiling groceries and other basic necessities.
“Our retail supply-chain providers have assured us they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly,” said the press release. “There is no need to stockpile.”