Taking temperature: April 27 COVID-19 update

In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry discussed the ongoing outbreaks in the province as well as what business owners can expect in terms of guidelines for reopening as public health measures are relaxed.

There are 50 new cases of COVID-19 and 3 new deaths from the virus in BC since Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 1,998. Currently there are 97 people with the virus who are hospitalized, of whom 36 are in critical care.

In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry discussed the ongoing outbreaks in the province as well as what business owners can expect in terms of guidelines for reopening as public health measures are relaxed.

Henry reported two new long-term care outbreaks in the Fraser Health Authority, bringing the total number of outbreaks in long-term care centres in the province to 21.

Following a broad testing push at the federal correctional facility in Mission that saw a number of new cases confirmed late last week, there have been no new cases reported since Sunday. There are 106 inmates and 12 staff associated with the facility who have tested positive for the virus.

There are now 25 confirmed cases related to the Superior Poultry plant and 34 related to the United Poultry plant.

Henry emphasized again that anyone returning to BC from the Kearl Lake industrial plant in Alberta or who has been in close contact with a worker from that camp who is ill must self-isolate for 14 days. There are 11 people in the province connected to that camp who have tested positive for the virus.

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With both the federal government and provincial governments across the country preparing plans to relax public health measures in the coming weeks, both Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix said that the province will be taking a “made in BC” approach to its plan that will reflect the regional differences between BC’s pandemic and others’.

Dix continued by stressing that the province is seeking to balance a number of different priorities in crafting its plan, including public health and economic concerns, and the need for people to be able to safely socialize.

Henry said that business owners who have had to close in response to the province’s restrictive public health measures can expect more detailed guidelines for reopening in the coming days. In the meantime, business owners can look to the guidance that has been issued for retail and grocery stores, and industrial camps for an idea of what to expect, she continued.

Henry stressed that given the scale of testing the province is undertaking, the diminishing number of daily positive cases is a good sign for the effectiveness of the measures that have been taken to date.

“I think you can see from these numbers, despite the community outbreaks that we’re seeing, it’s clear evidence that our sustained efforts to follow public health measures are working here in BC.”