B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 cases in B.C., Vancouver, June 18, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. COVID-19 infections stay low, travel announcement this week

32 cases in past three days as Horgan prepares for next phase

B.C.’s next phase of in-province travel is expected this week, as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gave advice to people preparing to take holidays within B.C. under the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her latest update, Henry reported 10 positive tests up to Saturday, six up to Sunday and 16 up to Monday, June 22. Active cases of the novel coronavirus are at 182, with 14 people in hospital. There was one additional death in the past 24 hours, the first coronavirus-related death in 10 days for B.C.

With B.C. cases remaining low, Henry said B.C. residents should expect an update from Premier John Horgan this week on the move to a third phase of B.C.’s restrictions. That is expected to include the removal of the essential-only travel advisory within the province and resorts and other tourism activities to resume.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix warned that while B.C.’s infection rate remains low, just across the U.S. border is a different story. For the week up to Sunday, B.C. recorded 83 new cases and Washington state had 2,846, Dix said.

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Globally, the pandemic reached a record of 183,000 new cases on Sunday, with the U.S. second to Brazil and record infection days for Oregon, California and Arizona.

Henry acknowledged that increased travel increases transmission of the virus.

“As we increase our travel, even within the province, we are going to have more cases,” Henry said.

Henry is scheduled to release the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s latest pandemic modelling June 23, as the B.C. cabinet prepares for its decision on easing restrictions.


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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