FILE – B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, June 9, 2020. (B.C. government)

School teacher tests positive for COVID-19 as B.C. sees two new deaths, 20 cases

First public school teacher to test positive with COVID-19

B.C. recorded 19 new cases, one epidemiologically linked case and two deaths due to COVID-19 on Thursday (June 25).

That brings the total number of test positive cases in B.C. to 2,869. One of the new cases was the first public school teacher in the province to be diagnosed with COVID-19. The individual teaches in the Fraser Health region, but Dr. Bonnie Henry said “none of the students are exposed.”

Henry said the teacher was exposed through a “social interaction,” through a known case of COVID-19.

“This is a contact of a contact of a known case,” she said. “It’s a cautionary tale.”

There are currently 179 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Fifteen patients are in hospital, with seven in ICU. B.C’s total death toll due to the virus is now at 173.

B.C. entered Phase Three on Wednesday, leading to a loosening of some restrictions, including travel within the province.

However, Henry warned that just because the province had moved to the next phase of its pandemic response, that didn’t mean British Columbians could throw caution to the wind.

She especially urged travellers to be respectful of communities not yet ready to welcome visitors, including smaller communities without the health care resources to deal with an outbreak.

“There are some communities who are feeling particularly vulnerable, still,” Henry said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the move to Phase 3 meant people needed to be more vigilant about physical distancing, not less.

“It is much easier when one is spending most of their time at home to stay distant,” he said.

“Physical distancing saves lives.”

Dix also warned that COVID-19 case counts were hitting record highs in the past two weeks, including south of the border.

“Let us recommit to being 100 per cent all in in this new phase,” he said.

Surgeries, many of which were delayed in the heart of B.C.’s COVID-19 situation, have returned to near normal levels, Dix said.Last week, 6,425 surgeries were performed in B.C., while this week there have been 6,358. In total, there have been 28,247 surgeries performed since elective ones resumed in mid-May.

READ MORE: B.C. extends temporary layoff period to 24 weeks due to COVID-19 pandemic

RAED MORE: B.C. reopening travel not sitting well with several First Nations


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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