Friday, 03 July, 2020

COVID-19: Total of 617 cases in BC; 13 deaths

Screenshot from provincial update March 24 in Victoria Screenshot from provincial update March 24 in Victoria
Deanna Wagner | 26 March, 2020, 16:16

"We're at a bit of a critical phase with personal protective equipment", Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province's chief medical health officer, said Wednesday.

There are now 11 deaths associated with that single outbreak, out of a total 14 in B.C. and 36 across the country.

"What's really important is the measures being taken in Haro Park to prevent all those people who have been exposed before and now developing illness to make sure that they're isolated as they develop their illness so they're not passing it on to others", said Henry.

There are half a million rental homes in B.C. but the Premier could not say how many households may need assistance.

Outbreaks at a growing number of long-term care homes in the Lower Mainland have led to COVID-19 diagnoses for 55 health-care workers to date.

In an attempt to curb the spread of the disease, Henry has announced a new order ensuring that people who work in long-term care homes will be limited to a single facility.

"Additionally, of the total COVID-19 cases, 59 individuals are now hospitalized, 23 of those are in intensive care, and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation".

Robinson also said landlords will have the power to restrict the use of common areas in buildings, bar visitors from buildings, and restrict how many people can be in a shared space - like a laundry room - at once.

"We've been overwhelmed with messages from tenants who don't know how they're going to afford rent next month".

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The province is halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in "extreme cases where there are safety concerns", Robinson said.

Horgan said the province is assuming its rental supplement will see 100% pick-up, and that the province is then "working back from there" on the understanding that not everyone will need it.

"We remind all British Columbians that while 50 is the number, the smaller, the better".

There are now 339 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 218 in Fraser Health, 47 in Island Health, 46 in Interior Health and nine in Northern Health.

That means delaying or cancelling in-person social engagements, including major celebrations and ceremonies.

"As the escalating numbers across B.C. show us, there is circulation and risk of COVID-19 throughout British Columbia". On Wednesday, Henry repeated the province's testing strategy, which is to focus on "where it makes the most difference in protecting the health-care system".

When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people.

As of Wednesday, there were 659 cases of coronavirus in B.C., including 42 new cases.

The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.