B.C.'s provincial health officer says her hopes of global control of COVID-19 were dashed as the province worked to control it within its own borders, and that what B.C. is doing now is necessary until an effective treatment or a vaccine is found.
An additional 13 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded over the past 24 hours, including three additional cases in the Interior Health region.
With no new deaths reported Tuesday, there have now been 3,128 cases and 189 deaths due to COVID-19 in the province.
By health region, there have been 1,015 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,649 in Fraser Health, 135 in Vancouver Island Health, 212 in Interior Health, 65 in Northern Health and 52 among those who do not reside in Canada.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there are no new community outbreaks or health care facility outbreaks to report.
To date, there have been 399 residents and 252 staff infected at long-term care homes and acute care units, including three new cases announced Tuesday.
With 2,730 people now fully recovered, there are now 209 active cases in the province, with 14 in hospital and five in critical care. None of the hospitalized cases are in the Interior Health region.
Henry advised people not to travel unless they feel "100 per cent well," and urged people to recommit to the basics of "fewer faces, bigger spaces," in light of the recent exposure event in Kelowna, which has produced 17 cases since it was announced last week.
"We know that COVID-19 symptoms can be mild, making it very easy to spread the virus to those who are close to us," Henry said.
Henry said it was "distressing" that recent days have produced higher than average new case counts, with between 20 and 25 new cases per day before Tuesday.
"That's way above my comfort level," Henry said of Friday's announcement of 25 new cases. "But it's not unexpected, and we do know where those cases are."
KTW asked Henry where she thought the province would be come mid-July — something she said she has been thinking a lot about.
"When we put the restriction measures in place in March, we were facing the upside of the epidemic curve — and when you're there, you never know how high it's going to go and how long it's going to take," she said.
Henry said her hopes were quickly dashed that COVID-19 would be under control at a global level, as was done with SARS-CoV-1.
"I had no idea what July was going to be like. It was either going to be really, really bad still, or we did what we needed to do — and we are where we are," she said.
The outlook beyond the summer is to hold fast for an effective treatment or vaccine, according to Henry.
"I fully expect that this is the dance we'll be doing in the coming months," she said.