Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia:
“Today (Thursday), we are announcing the first individual confirmed to have COVID-19 in B.C. has recovered. This is indicated by the resolution of symptoms, followed by two successive negative test results 24 hours apart.
“The four remaining B.C. patients with COVID-19 are recovering in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public-health teams. The fifth case identified on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, was confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory on Saturday, Feb. 15.
“Over the next few days, Health Canada will begin releasing repatriated Canadians from 14 days of quarantine in Trenton, Ont. Fourteen days is believed to be the longest incubation period for COVID-19. These individuals will no longer be required to self-isolate or take any additional precautionary measures, beyond those measures that help protect us from other respiratory illnesses at this time of year.
“We are working closely with our federal and global health partners to monitor the developing situations related to Canadians aboard the Westerdam and Diamond Princess cruise ships. Those people returning to Canada on a repatriation flight from Japan will be quarantined in Cornwall, Ont., for 14 days.
“Public-health teams in B.C. have connected with other returning travellers to assess and monitor them for symptoms. At this time, Westerdam travellers require 14 days of self-isolation at home.
“Public-health teams continue to be active in the community, supporting those who have self-isolated, or may be concerned about symptoms to ensure they are being assessed, tested and cared for. These teams also undertake the important tasks of monitoring the four confirmed cases and providing daily symptom checks for close contacts who are self-isolating.
“In addition, public-health teams actively investigate the travel history of confirmed cases and contact people at risk of exposure to ensure they are isolated, if needed, and monitored for symptoms.
“The risk of this virus spreading within British Columbia remains low at this time. We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves and will notify the public if the measures in B.C. change.”
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Coronavirus_Recommendations_Feb19.pdf
For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the website: http://www.bccdc.ca/