Wednesday's Daily COVID-19 update from Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put a significant focus on some of the challenges for long term care health providers and their supply of equipment, as well as how the province is addressing some of the unique challenges in smaller and more isolated British Columbia communities.
As has been the case since the province began this health care emergency, the day's overview began with a look at the updated listing of the case files.
“We are announcing 44 new cases for a total of 1,561 cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia."
Across British Columbia's five Health Authorities, the total number of cases is as follows: 670 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 623 are in the Fraser Health region, 92 are in the Island Health region, 146 are in the Interior Health region and 30 are in the Northern Health region, that makes for an additional two cases for Northern BC since yesterday.
Once again Dr. Henry had the duty to report on three new passings in the province.
“We are saddened to report three new COVID-19 related deaths, one in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, one in the Fraser Health region and one in the Interior Health region for a total of 75 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones."
The situation facing the province's long term care facilities remains relatively unchanged as it has for the last few weeks.
There have been no new long-term care outbreaks in the last day. The 21 affected long-term care and assisted-living facilities have a total of 265 cases of COVID-19.
Health officials are also continuing to monitor the situation at Mission Institution which now has 48 cases of COVID-19 reported, with seven patients currently in hospitals receiving care.
Both officials also put some focus on the challenges for small communities and residents living in Indigenous communities.
“We also recognize that every community in B.C. is unique – with different health-care services and required support. Smaller communities have limited health services, which makes managing and responding to COVID-19 all the more challenging.
This is especially the case for many Indigenous communities and why we have been working to increase options for patient care and clinical support.
While self-isolation at home is preferred by many, it is not always possible. As a result, resources have been created to support Indigenous individuals with alternatives – in urban centres and in local communities."
Dr. Henry also outlined how British Columbia is measuring its response with other communities in Canada and around the world and how herd immunity will assist in the provincial approach, with more details to be shared on Friday.
"We are not at the end of our beginning yet, we are maybe part way through it, we're not at anywhere near the end of what we are going to do with this, and normal is going to look quite different for some time.
It's not going to be the same as what it is today perhaps, but there are some measures that we are not going to be able to stop doing until we have enough immunity in our community, What we call herd immunity in Public Health, until we have enough to prevent transmission and prevent lots of people from becoming sick in a very rapid way.
So that is the important part, and part of that is understanding who has immunity already and the other part of it is, the ways that we increase community immunity is either from people being infected and surviving, or vaccine, so those are two really important pieces we need to consider and we'll be talking more about that on Friday "
With the renewal earlier in the day of the State of Emergency in the province until the end of the month, Dr. Henry also noted that we need to continue with the measures currently in place to hold the line and bend the curve and for residents to remain patient, for his part Minister Dix observed that with an unprecedented situation in our lifetime that we have to continue with the work to be done.
"What it says to us though, when so many people have sacrificed so much; sometimes by choice, sometimes not by choice. That we really have to be one hundred precent all in now, we have to continue to do what we have been doing.
Continue to hold the line as Dr. Henry says, continue to bend the curve and this is critically important in the coming weeks.
Because what we need to do is organize in a planned way into the future and to do that we need to flatten the curve now and so those actions need to continue, as we show the results of the tremendous efforts by people in British Columbia and all of those sacrifices and what we can do in the future"
You can review the full review can be explored here.
The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.
Federal Government site
British Columbia Government site
The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.
More from Northern Health can be reviewed here
You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.
Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.
For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee