BC health officials report 12 new coronavirus cases

Grant Boone
July 1, 2020

Visitors must bring and wear a mask at care facilities, and staff will train visitors on how to wear the face coverings properly.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the one-person designation could be expanded for more visitors in the future, but she wanted to start slowly.

"This weighs heavily on us", Henry said. "Like many businesses that have reopened, those facilities will need to have plans and precautions in place". Visitors must book in advance and facilities where there are active COVID-19 outbreaks will remain closed, she said.

She added that B.C. now has sufficient resources in place to facilitate safe visitations, including an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for staff and residents, and a low number of COVID-19 cases in the community.

Henry said the facilities now must have written safety plans before allowing visitors.

There are now four active outbreaks at B.C. long-term and acute care facilities, while 36 others have been declared over.

"There have been many dark, anxious days but today is a brighter day for us all".

Henry paid tribute to the resilience and courage shown by residents and their families over the past months, saying "this has been a hard time for you to be separated from the ones you love".

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Over the weekend, officials announced a virus exposure at a Vancouver strip club where three people attending Brandi's Exotic Show Lounge tested positive.

There are now 18 people in hospital with COVID-19, 11 in the Fraser Health region and seven in the Vancouver Coastal region, with five of those in critical care.

Just more than 80 per cent of Canada's known COVID-19 deaths were among residents of nursing or retirement homes as of May 25, almost double the average for countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to a recent report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Of the total coronavirus cases, 18 individuals are hospitalized, four of whom are in intensive care.

Of the 174 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in B.C., 122 have been residents of long-term care or acute care facilities.

Alberta intends to update its long-term care visitor policy within the "next several weeks", she said. "At some point, the risk of no visits started to outweigh the risk from COVID-19".

Dates for care-home visits will vary between facilities.

Deena Hinshaw on Tuesday said her team is reviewing feedback from thousands of citizens on the province's approach to long-term care restrictions.

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