Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix observe physical distance rules while giving latest statistics on COVID-19 pandemic, Vancouver, March 19, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. COVID-19 cases jump by another 77, another care home affected

Total now 348 positive coronavirus tests, 22 in hospital

B.C. has identified another 77 new cases of COVID-19, including a worker at a senior care home in Coquitlam.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said March 20 the total is up to 348 people, including 22 people who are in hospital. The Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam is being treated as an outbreak by Fraser Health, along with two others in Vancouver and North Vancouver.

“We know that about two dozen of our health care workers in B.C. have been affected by this virus, and I am relieved and happy to say that none of them have had severe illness,” Henry said. “All of them have had very mild illness.”

As of March 20 there are 200 cases identified in Vancouver Coastal Health region, 95 in Fraser Health, 30 on Vancouver Island 19 in the Interior Health region that includes the Okanagan and Kootenays, and still only four in the Northern Health region.

RELATED: B.C.’s top doctor bans dine-in guests at all restaurants

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With the case numbers climbing quickly, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix repeated his assurances that the province’s health care system has sufficient equipment, and has cleared acute care beds to deal with an increase of severely ill people.

Transfers to other care facilities and cancellation of elective surgeries have cleared nearly 2,400 hospital beds to prepare, Dix said.

“We must do everything possible to support our front-line health care workers,” Dix said. “Front-line staff are critical to defeating this virus.”

Henry repeated her advice for people who are not ill and self-isolating to go outside, but to do so responsibly.

“Like we do inside, we need to go outside with our close family, with our small groups,” Henry said. “We’re not to be outside in groups. We’re not to be out playing basketball. We’re not to be out sitting together in large groups on the beach, watching the beautiful sunsets that we have.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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