B.C. expands health-care supports for rural, Indigenous communities

B.C. expands health-care supports for rural, Indigenous communities

In a news release issued Saturday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority says contact tracing is underway after new cases of COVID-19 were found in the northern part of the province.

Breaking down the numbers by health authority, there are 700 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), 705 in Fraser Health, 102 on Vancouver Island and 153 in Interior Health.

"Start thinking like that", Henry said.

She added that there was no change in the community outbreak in Bylands Nurseries in West Kelowna.

In today's briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry discussed the province's modified testing strategy and some new community cases of the virus related to the Kearl Lake outbreak in Alberta.

She's ordering anyone else who came back to B.C. from that work camp to isolate themselves for 14 days and to call 811 to check for symptoms.

Health officials are tracking the close-contacts of the affected workers, Dr Henry said.

"What this means is that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can now be assessed and tested through a physician, nurse practitioner or a local community collection centre". If you have no symptoms, the test has limited benefit.

The COVID-19 self-assessment app, which includes details about where, when and how to be tested, can be downloaded here. We must remain vigilant to protect loved ones, elders and all of our communities.

She said some retail stores might be able to follow some of the measures that grocery stores have implemented, like limiting the number of people allowed in a store at a given time, and moving to more "hybrid" systems where customers can place orders online or by phone before coming into a store to pick up goods.

Dr. Henry said we could "get really lucky" and have an effective vaccine that comes out before the fall, but she's not optimistic about that option.

She added big events, like weddings, parades and festivals "will not be happening this summer".

"Our overdose crisis has been... compounded by the restrictions we have put in place during the pandemic", Henry said.

"We must continue to hold our line", Henry said. It may not touch us personally. We can't stop all movement in our province.

"There are now 75 cases of COVID-19 associated with the Mission Institution federal correctional centre".

One day, however, there will be a vaccine.

"We took very quick action to get us into this but we don't want all of the sacrifices that we have been doing across the province to be for naught", she said. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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