Health officials on Thursday reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and two new deaths in long-term care.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 19 test-positive cases of COVID-19 and one epi-linked case.
One of the new cases was a public school teacher in the Fraser Health region. Henry said “none of the students are exposed from that case.”
The case is the second connected to B.C. schools since they reopened on June 1. Earlier this month, an independent school in the Fraser Health Region halted in-class instruction for the rest of the year after a staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The staff member had no documented contact with children, Henry said.
The province’s COVID-19 numbers have creeped up slightly in recent days, which Henry says is to be expected as the province continues to reopen.
“As more stores, as more businesses, as more things open, as we travel more, we are going to have more cases,” she said.
“What we need to do is make sure we have those measures in place that we can stop the transmission quickly and rapidly and make sure it’s not spread to large numbers of people.”
The update comes a day after the province announced it will move to Phase 3 of its plan to restart the economy.
B.C. Premier John Horgan said Wednesday that the gradual transition into the third phase allows hotels, motels, spas, resorts, hostels, RV parks, provincial campgrounds and the film industry to resume operations after being shut down or restricted since March.
There are 2,869 confirmed cases of the disease in the province. Of those, 2,517 patients have fully recovered, or just under 88 per cent.
There are 179 active cases in the province.
Fifteen COVID-19 patients are in hospital, seven of them in intensive care.
The two deaths, one in the Fraser Health region and the other in Vancouver Coastal Health, bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 173.
Henry said there are no new health-care outbreaks in the province.
Health Minister Adrian Dix responded to a report that Vancouver was no longer in the running to host National Hockey League games if and when the league resumes play, saying the decision now rests with the NHL.
“We think Vancouver has made a strong case and the foundation of that strong case is the health of the players and the health of the people of B.C.”
— With files from The Canadian PressView link »