What you need to know about COVID-19 in British Columbia by June 8, 2020

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THE LATEST:

  • Immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed to come to Canada from the United States, according to the federal government.
  • Dr. Bonnie Henry, a provincial health officer, is making her next update at 3 p.m. PT after a weekend off.
  • There were 193 active cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia as of Friday.
  • 21 people are hospitalized, five of them in intensive care.
  • To date, there have been 2,632 confirmed cases of the disease.
  • 167 people died.
  • 2,272 people have recovered.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an exemption from the closure of the Canada-U.S. border to allow immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to come from the United States.

The exemption includes spouses, children, parents or guardians. Visitors to Canada will be quarantined for 14 days and plan to stay in the country for at least 15 days, the Prime Minister said on Monday. The border was closed to all non-essential visitors in mid-March.

The Peace Arch-Douglas border crossing between Canada and the United States in Surrey, British Columbia, on March 18. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials will provide their first update of COVID-19 in three days on Monday afternoon after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Ten 1 missed regular press conferences.

The province says Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will now only conduct broadcasting briefings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week.

Monday’s update starts at 3 p.m. PT.

By late Friday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in British Columbia has now fallen below 200.

There are 193 active cases of the disease in the province at the last provincial update. So far, 167 people have died from infection with the new coronavirus.

Twenty-one people were hospitalized with coVID-19, five of whom were receiving intensive care. To date, there have been 2,632 confirmed cases of the disease in British Columbia.

The Chinese community has shown “great leadership” in the fight against COVID-19

Early efforts by the Chinese community to stop the spread of the new coronavirus in British Columbia appear to have paid off, although some of its members have been stigmatized because of the virus, according to infectious disease doctors.

The province released data last week showing that Richmond, B.C.— the city with the highest concentration of Chinese residents in the province — had the lowest percentage of cases in the Lower Mainland, where most cases occurred in British Columbia.

Meals are prepared for the Chopsticks to Health Care Heroes initiative inside Fortune Terrace Restaurant in Richmond, B.C., on April 6. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

There have also been no new active cases in Richmond since May 18. This is the only part of the Lower Mainland where this is the case.

“Whether it is a direct impact of early distancing and early aggressive manoeuvres in the name of [Chinese] it’s impossible to say, but it’s clear there’s an association there,” said Dr. Srinivas Murthy, co-chair of the World Health Organization’s clinical research committee on COVID-19.

Dr. Peter Phillips, an infectious disease specialist at the University of British Columbia, agreed that “the evidence is pretty clear” that the community has “shown great leadership” in early control of the virus.

One-third of students return to school

The Ministry of Education reported that more than 157,000 K-12 students — nearly 30% of all students in these classes — returned to school after classrooms opened again on a voluntary basis last week. The last day of school for students is June 25.

Grouse Mountain, theme park reopening

Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver will begin its gradual reopening on June 22. The mountain said it will start hosting annual pass holders and customers who need a download after the Grouse Grind hike, which reopens the same day.

The Central City Fun Park in Surrey reopened on Sunday. Guests of the mountain and amusement park will be required to wear masks and there are limits on the number of people allowed at each location.

A guest wearing a protective mask plays a game at Central City Fun Park on their opening weekend, in Surrey, B.C., on Sunday, June 7, 2020. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

READ MORE:

Top COVID-19 stories today

Important reminders:

Health officials largely agree that the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other diseases is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

The World Health Organization has stated that more than 80 percent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be benign.

What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 4:30 a.m. on Monday, There were 95,699 confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus in Canada, of which 54,233 were found to have been recovered or resolved. The number of deaths attributable to provincial data, regional health information and CBC News reports was 7,859.

To see what’s happening across the country and around the world, check out the CBC’s interactive case tracker.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

But more severe symptoms can develop, including breathing difficulties and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority or 811. Do not go to an emergency room or emergency care centre to get tested.

Find information about COVID-19 at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control.

Non-medical information on COVID-19 is available in British Columbia from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT, seven days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep sick people at least two metres away.
  • Outside the house, keep two metres away from the others.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Masks will not completely protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.

More detailed information about the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.

If you have a coVID-19 story that we should continue to pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at [email protected]

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