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Dr. Henry: hand washing makes big difference

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:07 PDT, Thu October 15, 2020

Last Updated: 4:07 PDT, Thu October 15, 2020

Today is Global Handwashing Day, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry took the opportunity to remind people that washing hands helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The simple act of cleaning our hands can make a big difference in our lives, making sure we are protecting each other and ourselves from COVID-19 but also from many other illnesses,” she said.

Soap and warm running water should be used to clean hands, but if this is not possible then alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used instead.

During a regular update, Henry also announced 142 new cases of the virus in BC today, including three epidemiologically linked cases. This brings the province’s total to 11,034—just one week after surpassing the 10,000 case mark.

There are 1,494 active cases in the province and 3,683 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. There were no new deaths reported.

Ten people were discharged from hospital, with 74 people still in hospital across the province. Twenty-four of those people are in intensive care. Henry said most people who were discharged in the last day were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

There were no new healthcare outbreaks, and 19 active outbreaks continue in the healthcare sector—17 in longterm care or assisted living and two in acute care. There was one new community cluster announced in the interior of BC at a FedEx processing location. Contact tracing is underway by public health teams, and there is no risk to members of the public who may be picking up packages.

Henry said there is no concern identified with BC’s supply of flu vaccines, nor delays with the manufacturer. She added the best time to get the flu vaccine is in the next few weeks, at the end of October and into November.

“That’s where we get the maximum protection through influenza season,” she said.

Henry also confirmed BC’s first case of multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a rare syndrome found in children that is usually associated with COVID-19. The child, who is under age five, tested positive for COVID-19 this week and was subsequently diagnosed with MIS-C. To date, 16 children in BC have been assessed for the syndrome but have not tested positive for COVID-19.

For a list of community exposure events, click here.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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