7 new cases of COVID-19 found in Island Health region; 3 more deaths in B.C.
VICTORIA -- There are now eight cases of coronavirus across the Island Health region, B.C. health officials announced Monday.
The new cases were among 30 new cases of COVID-19 discovered province-wide, bringing the total to 103 cases in B.C., Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
The seven new Island Health cases announced Monday are in addition to one prior case announced on March 11. That case was found in a man in his 60s who had travelled to Egypt.
Henry said the seven cases are in "various areas in Island Health," which covers Vancouver Island and the B.C. Gulf Islands.
Officials also announced three more deaths connected to coronavirus over the weekend. All three deaths were connected to the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.
Five people with the virus have fully recovered, Henry said.
"It's a very serious and sober report about the number of cases," Dix said. "Four people in total now have passed away and we are very, very sorry about that. This is a very sad situation and we pass on our condolences to their families."
Speaking from the B.C. legislature Monday, the officials also announced new measures to fight the spread of the virus.
Last week the province announced that it was banning all gatherings of more than 250 people. Now, however, gatherings of over 50 people are being banned.
"In this challenging time, this is what we need to do now. This is what we need to do to keep people in our community safe, to keep our families safe and to stop this virus from having the impact that we've seen in many other countries around the world," Henry said.
Hospitals in B.C. have been directed to postpone all non-urgent surgeries in an effort to free up hundreds of hospital beds as facilities are "clearly going to see more cases," Dix said.
He estimated the move would mean the cancellation of thousands of non-urgent procedures.