B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates COVID-19 efforts, June 1, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

B.C. recorded 20 new positive tests for COVID-19 on July 9, with no new community outbreaks or additional outbreaks in the health care system.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the latest cases since the coronavirus pandemic began bring the total to 3,028, of which 51 people live outside Canada. They include visitors who became ill and tested positive when in Canada, and temporary foreign workers who were found to carry the virus when they entered B.C.

The identification of non-Canadian cases is a new statistic for B.C., and comes as cases increase in most U.S. states. Travellers to Alaska stopping in B.C. have been highlighted by Premier John Horgan, with coronavirus numbers in Washington, California and other states growing as B.C. maintains a low daily total.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said progress is being made in catching up the backlog of thousands of scheduled surgeries that were postponed since the pandemic made hospital capacity a priority. And 61 B.C. long-term care and assisted living facilities have submitted their safety plans for resuming visits for residents. Facilities province-wide should be able to invite guests in by next week, he said.

Henry expanded her warning to people who were at the No. 5 Orange strip club in Vancouver on the night of July 1. People may have been exposed over the following six days as well, as a second positive test has been identified, Henry said.

At the other end of the entertainment spectrum, Henry said she has received numerous requests about resuming choir practice and performances, which popped up early in the pandemic as high-risk events. A literature review of proper procedures is ongoing and recommendations for choirs should be available by next week, she said.

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