British Columbia on Wednesday reported its largest single-day jump in new COVID-19 cases since March 28.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed 71 new cases of the virus, bringing the provincial total to 1,795. About 60 per cent of patients have fully recovered.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the spike in new cases partially reflects an outbreak at an East Vancouver poultry plant.
It also comes about a week after the Easter long weekend.
With the latest update, both Dix and Henry stressed the need for anyone who feels the least bit ill to stay home.
“Sometimes, I think there is a sense that it is the brave thing to do or the courageous thing to do to play hurt or to work sick,” Dix said. “Well, that can no longer be the case.”
B.C. has made progress to contain the virus, Henry added, but the possibility of a second wave of infection in the fall remains very real.
The prospect of a deadly second wave was raised by the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.
Autumn is particularly concerning, Henry said, because while officials do not know if COVID-19 is seasonal, its reappearance could be masked by increases in other respiratory illnesses such as the flu.
“There is very much a potential of a surge come the fall, and that’s one of the things we are working to have in place — the surveillance that we need, the testing that we need, the contact tracing in our communities that we need,” she said.
“We need to do everything we can to stamp it out now so we at least have a fighting chance.”
Three new deaths
Three more people have died of COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 90.
All three deaths were linked to long-term care homes.
Despite doubling down on directives to stay home if sick, Henry said she hoped to see at least a minor relaxation of the ban on visits to long-term care homes in the coming weeks.
“I absolutely hope to be able to at least have one family visitor … be able to go into long-term care and spend time with only their family member,” she said.
However, she stressed that a return to somewhat normal activities, such as group movie nights, in such facilities would remain impossible for some time.
While the number of new cases spiked Wednesday, hospitalization maintained their downward trend.
B.C. reported 103 COVID-19 patients in hospital, 46 of them in intensive care.
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $9 billion in supports for post-secondary students facing financial hardship during the pandemic.View link »