A message is painted on the boarded up windows of a closed Aritzia clothing store on Robson Street, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Aritzia Inc. says it expects net revenue for its first quarter to be about 45 per cent lower than at the same time last year due to the impacts of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

After a dip in daily case counts, B.C. health officials announced a slight surge in COVID-19 test positives on Wednesday (June 3).

In the past 24 hours, 22 British Columbians have tested positive for the contagious respiratory disease, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in a joint statement Wednesday (June 3). Twenty-one of the new cases are within the Fraser Health Authority.

That means there are 214 active cases ongoing in the province.

One person in the Fraser Health region also died, bringing the total number of fatalities due to COVID-19 to 166.

Thirty-two people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care.

Roughly 85 per cent of total cases, or 2,243 people, have recovered fully from the novel coronavirus.

It’s unclear if the surge in cases stem from any of the protests against racism that have popped up across the province in response to the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. The new cases mark roughly two weeks since B.C.’s reopening plan began. Symptoms can appear two to 14 days after initial exposure.

In their statement, Dix and Henry urged British Columbians to “stand together while staying apart,” while COVID-19 remains an ongoing health crisis.

“Racialized communities face obstacles that others to do not, and we have seen British Columbians proudly stand up and speak out against racism,” the statement reads.

“Exercising our right to peaceful demonstration is extremely important, and equally important is keeping our communities, loved ones and friends safe during this pandemic.”

The pair of health officials suggested finding alternative ways to peacefully demonstrate, such as in smaller groups in multiple locations, while also maintaining safe physical distancing and using non-medical cloth masks when in closer contact to others.

“Let’s stand united across our province, our nation and around the world,” Henry and Dix continued.

“Let’s continue to work together and learn from others to keep our firewall strong and importantly, use this time to spread the message of respect and tolerance rather than spreading the virus.”

Outbreaks end at some long-term care homes

Despite the increase in cases, health officials also announced a sliver of positive news on Wednesday, confirming that two outbreaks have been declared to be over.

That leaves six ongoing outbreaks at long-term care or assisted living facilities in B.C., four of those within the Fraser Health region and two within the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Seven community outbreaks remain ongoing.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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