A Busy COVID Tuesday – Outbreak at CHWK Care Home – Agassiz Facility Declared Over – Province Extends Emergency, Introduces Mask Enforcement Measures

Fraser Valley – On Tuesday , Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health are reporting 941 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, for a total of 28,348 cases in British Columbia.

The new and latest one day record.

“There are 7,732 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 284 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 61 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

“Currently, 10,283 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 19,605 people who tested positive have recovered.

“We have two new health-care facility outbreaks at Valley Haven Care Home (Chilliwack) and Little Mountain Place. The outbreak at Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge has been declared over. There have been no new community outbreaks.

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak over at Agassiz Seniors Community, a long term care facility that is owned and operated by Park Place Seniors Living.

With the implementation of comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in care facilities, there are no longer any COVID-19 cases at this location.

Then there are the masks:

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is aligning the Province’s measures under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) with the provincial health officer’s (PHO) guidance that masks must be worn in indoor public places. 

The Province is also formally extending the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the EPA to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Dec. 8, 2020.

This ministerial order on masks ensures a co-ordinated response to COVID-19. Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older, in many indoor public settings. These include:

  • malls, shopping centres, coffee shops, and retail and grocery stores;
  • liquor and drug stores;
  • airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
  • restaurants, pubs and bars;
  • places of public worship;
  • on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • common areas of office buildings, court houses, hospitals and hotels;
  • common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity; and
  • common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations.

Working with public health officials, Emergency Management BC anticipates issuing further orders to enforce requirements for masks in common areas of apartment buildings, condos and workplaces. This first order covers the high-traffic public settings where people who do not know each other often interact.

For the purposes of this order, a mask or face covering is defined as a medical or non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth. Face shields are not a substitute for a mask, as there is an opening below the mouth.

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