The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in BC one year ago today.
Since then, “we seen tremendous upheaval, extraordinary changes in how we deal with each other, and how our government presents itself to the people of BC, and more importantly, how we present to each other, ” said Premier John Horgan during a press conference this afternoon.
And despite the fact that vaccines are now available, “we still have a long, long way to go,” he added.
On January 28, 2020, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed the first case of the virus.
The person, a resident of the Vancouver Coastal Health region, was a man in his 40s who regularly travelled to China for work and had been in Wuhan one week prior.
“On January 26, he followed public health messaging, contacted a primary health-care provider to notify them that he had travelled to Wuhan City, was experiencing symptoms and would be coming for assessment and care,” said Henry at the time.
“Following established protocols, the primary-care provider notified the Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer and administered the diagnostic test,” said Henry. “Last night the test came back positive.”
Henry said the man was “well aware of what was going on in China,” and upon his return home, he voluntarily self-isolated.
The man ultimately recovered.
Both Henry and Dix said at the time that the “risk of spreading this virus within British Columbia” was low.
“All necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection. We have multiple systems in place to prepare for, detect and respond, in order to prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases in the province,” they added.
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This week, British Columbia health officials announced that as of Tuesday, 407 new test-positive COVID-19 cases had been detected, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 65,234.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that broken down by health region, this equates to 124 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 169 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 22 in the Island Health region, 54 in the Interior Health region, 38 in the Northern Health region, and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There are 4,260 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 313 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 71 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Currently, 6,450 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.
There have been 14 new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,168 deaths in British Columbia.
A total of 58,352 individuals who tested positive have now recovered, and to date, 122,359 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in BC, 4,105 of which are second doses.