COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. drop below 10 for 1st time since public health emergency declared!/cumulusImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/bc-covid-update-july-16-2020.jpg

For the first time since a public health emergency was declared in B.C. on March 17, fewer than 10 people are in hospital with coronavirus. 

Nine people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including three in intensive care. 

Back in March, when the province declared a public health emergency, seven people were in hospital.  A day later on March 18, 13 people had been hospitalized.

A total of 23 more people have been diagnosed with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus and one more person has died in the past 24 hours, B.C. health officials said Tuesday in a written statement.

The person who died was in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, according to a joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

There are currently 253 active COVID-19 cases in the province.

A total of 3,523 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in B.C. and 3,076 people have recovered.

There are no new outbreaks in health-care facilities, but there is an ongoing outbreak at Holy Family Hospital, a long-term care facility in Vancouver.

‘Let’s ensure it is a safe weekend for all of us’

Community exposure continues to happen within the province, Henry and Dix said. British Columbians can now check online to see if they might have been exposed to COVID-19 in a public area.

Interior Health has identified another location in Kelowna where people may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.

The health authority is asking anyone who visited the Liquid Zoo exotic dance club from July 15 to 18 to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Contact tracing is underway and Interior Health is reaching out directly to people who have been exposed.

The province is stressing the importance of continuing to keep groups and gatherings small.

New regulations announced last week will limit the number of people allowed on rental properties and boats, after coronavirus cases started trending up this month. 

Vacation accommodations can have a maximum of five visitors and they must provide contact information, the province said.

The province also added new measures in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, including requiring patrons to be seated, and prohibiting ordering from the bar. 

“As we all look ahead to the upcoming B.C. Day long weekend, let’s ensure it is a safe weekend for all of us,” Henry and Dix said in their statement on Tuesday.

“Let’s make sure COVID-19 doesn’t take our summer away by taking steps to bend our curve back down, this weekend and every weekend.”