Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced three new deaths and 24 new cases of COVID-19 in the province at her daily briefing Thursday.
The numbers are the first update since Tuesday, after officials took the day off on Canada Day. There were fifteen cases between the Tuesday and Wednesday reporting period, and nine more yesterday.
A total of 2,940 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in B.C. to date, including 177 people who have died. There are 160 active cases of the virus in the province. Seventeen people are in hospital, including two in intensive care.
Henry reiterated the need for continued physical distancing and the use of measures like non-medical masks and 14-day quarantine for incoming travellers as the province unfolds the third phase of its restart plan.
“There can be no half measures or exceptions when it comes to COVID-19,” Henry said. “Like every aspect of our restart plan, we have to move slowly.”
Concerns around airline travel
Health Minister Adrian Dix responded to concerns around air travel, especially following news that passengers on four recent flights into Vancouver International Airport could have been exposed to COVID-19.
Both Air Canada and WestJet ended their in-flight distancing policies as of July 1, something Dix expressed concern about earlier this week.
Dix said if physical distancing is not possible, passengers need to be extra vigilant about all other safety measures, like wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and not touching your face.
“Everybody that goes on an airplane should be conscientious about following all the other rules,” he said.
Henry said airlines and passengers have to be fastidious about not allowing people with symptoms on aircraft, and airlines should work more closely with public health officials to make sure contact tracing is done quickly and efficiently.
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