BC reports no new coronavirus deaths for the first time in over a month

May 26 2020, 10:19 pm

British Columbia health officials announced 11 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday afternoon.

During a joint press conference with BC Health Minister Adrian Dix, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said these cases bring the province’s total count to 2,541.

Broken down by health region, Henry said this equates to 897 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,261 cases in Fraser Health, 127 cases in Island Health, 194 cases in Interior Health, and 62 cases in Northern Health.

Of the total number of cases, 37 people are in hospital, with seven of those in ICU.

And for the first time in several weeks, Henry said there are no new deaths to report – leaving the provincial death toll at 161.

The last time this was the case was on April 17.

A total of 2,122 cases are now considered fully recovered, as well.

As part of her update, Henry also noted that there are no new community outbreaks, no new long-term care facility outbreaks, and that the outbreak at the Richmond hospital has now been declared over.

The update comes after Henry said on Monday that keeping a small circle of contacts and socializing at a safe distance are key factors in minimizing risk of a potential second wave of COVID-19.

She noted that as British Columbians begin to slowly increase their contacts throughout the province’s restart phases, there are likely to be more cases.

She clarified that there is a difference between a “slight increase or resurgence” of cases and “whether it becomes a dramatic increase or a second wave.”

And the importance of following the province’s health and safety guidelines are crucial in preventing a large-scale increase in cases.

This, said Henry, is why “we’ve been so fussed about having safe contacts, having small numbers, making sure that that’s part of our restart program so that we don’t give the virus an opportunity to spread quickly between lots of people.”

Henry added that a resurgence “right now is not inevitable” if British Columbians continue to follow advice from health officials.

A seasonally related second wave is “another thing altogether,” said Henry, explaining that it is something British Columbians will need to plan for.

“I suspect it’s going to happen because history tells us with every other pandemic that we’ve had … that we have seen a seasonally-related second wave in the fall,” she said. “So right now, we need to prepare for that.”

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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