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No COVID-19 deaths in BC since Friday

New COVID-19 cases remain in single digits over last two days
Dr. Bonnie Henry
Social distancing worked to get COVID-19 numbers down to single digits in B.C.

A number of large public protests appear not to have resulted in a spike in new COVID-19 cases, at least not yet.

There have been no new deaths over the last three days, and only 29 new cases over a three-day period, with new cases being in the single digits over the last two days.

There were 14 new cases between Friday and Saturday, six between Saturday and Sunday, and nine between Sunday and today.

But provincial health officer Bonnie Henry admitted Monday she is concerned that those who have attended large demonstrations recently in sympathy with the Black Lives Matter movement could be putting themselves and their family at risk, as well as the very marginalized populations they are demonstrating in support of.

"It's a very difficult thing," she said, "because we know people need to speak up against racism and against the impacts that it's having on our communities."

But she said those who attend large gatherings are potentially putting themselves, their families and other at risk, since large gatherings can be vectors for viruses.

"Potentially we can have impacts on those very people that we are trying to stand up to protect," she said. "We know that indigenous communities are more differentially affected by this pandemic. We have seen that many racialized communities are also adversely affected."

She added that she supports the idea of including demographic information, like race, in pandemic data collected by public agencies -- something a City of Vancouver advisory committee has proposed.

"We did not have that as part of our initial case report form across the country," she said, though she added data has been gathered on indigenous people in B.C.

"It is important for us to understand the impact of this pandemic, as we know many other pandemics and other health issues differentially affect people who are racialized, and racialized communities. We also know that socio-economic status has an important role to play in people's access and their health in general."

Outbreaks at one long-term care facility, the New Vista Society, has been declared over, as have two community outbreaks at poultry plants.There are currently four long-term care facilities in B.C. still with active cases.

At one point, there were more than two dozen long-term care homes and assisted living facilities in B.C. with outbreaks.

The Lynn Valley Care Centre was the hardest hit, with 20 deaths and 76 infections among residents and staff. The outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre was declared over in May, but the centre is preparing in the event of a second wave. The centre is currently working on a post-COVID recovery plan.

“Our focus moving forward is on ensuring our systems and processes are ready to handle any future outbreaks,” said the centre’s director of care, Betty Wills. “We are taking a closer look at contingency planning and mitigation strategies following this pandemic.”

Asked when restrictions will be lifted on visitations at long-term care homes, Henry said her office said a new policy will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

"This is something we are doing province-wide," she said. "We do expect that will be in place in the coming weeks."

She said the lifting of restrictions on visits at long term care homes must be done in concert with local health authorities and the care homes themselves.

The total number of confirmed cases have been adjusted slightly since Friday, due to a data correction.

Here are today’s COVID-19 numbers for Monday June 8, with numbers from June 5 in brackets:

New cases: 29 (1)
Total: 2,659 (2,632)
Recovered: 2,390 (2,272)
Active cases: 183 (193)
Hospitalized: 16 (21)
Intensive care: 4 (5)
Deaths: 167 (167)

Confirmed cases by region:

Vancouver Coastal Health: 907
Fraser Health: 1,362
Island Health: 130
Interior Health: 195
Northern Health: 64

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