North remains COVID-19-free, outbreak at strip club

There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Northern Health region on Monday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 26 new cases across the province, since the last update on Friday. The total number of cases in B.C. since the start of the pandemic increased to 2,904, while the total number of cases in the north remained at 65.

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"Even though our new cases are low, we need to keep it that way," Henry said. "It's a team effort we need to do together in B.C."

There were 163 active cases remaining in the province, with no active cases remaining in northern B.C. Of those active cases, 18 people were hospitalized in B.C with COVID-19, including five in intensive care.

There were no new deaths linked to COVID-19 since Friday, leaving the province's death toll from the pandemic at 174, Henry said.

Over the weekend, public health officials issued a warning about a COVD-19 exposure event at a Vancouver strip club. Three people who attended Brandi's Exotic Show Lounge tested positive for COVID-19, Henry said.

People who were at the strip club between June 21 and June 24, from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. may have been exposed and should get tested, Henry said.

"We have not yet seen transmission in this case, but we might still," she said. "They are closed down (now), because the safety plans were not adequate."
The strip club was skirting the rules for clubs by opening under the same event license as a pub or restaurant, she said.

"We can't afford to have exceptions or half-measures," Henry said. "These aren't things we've invented to punish businesses. These are the things we need to do this summer."

A situation like the one at Brandi's could spark a new public outbreak of cases, she said. Similar situations in other jurisdictions have been responsible for large outbreaks of new cases, she said.

Henry said she does have some concerns about the federal decision to reduce physical distancing requirements on flights. Flights are a situation where people are close together inside for an extended time, where COVID-19 can spread.

There needs to be screening before anyone gets on a plane, she said.

"You should not be travelling if you are ill," Henry said. "We have had occasions in the last week where people have arrived with symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19."

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said everyone travelling in the province – both British Columbians and other Canadians – needs to remember to follow social distancing guidelines and not travel if sick.

"In this pandemic summer we need to stay 100 per cent all in," Dix said. "From Canada Day and beyond... let's continue to stand on guard against COVID-19."


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