B.C. announces 48 new cases of COVID-19, 3 more deaths
British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry listens during a news conference regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VICTORIA -- British Columbia’s top doctor announced 48 new positive tests for COVID-19 and three additional deaths from the illness Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 472.
Of the 472 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C., 33 people are in hospital for treatment, while 14 are in intensive care.
In B.C., 13 people have died since the COVID-19 pandemic first began. Ten of the 13 deaths were residents in the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home in North Vancouver.
Meanwhile, 100 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 are now considered fully recovered.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said further policies will be put in place at long-term care homes across the province. Stricter visitation and staff monitoring are among the new steps being taken by the B.C. government.
Henry said labs are working through a backlog of COVID-19 test results, which should be resolved early this week.
According to Health Minister Adrian Dix, B.C. is completing approximately 3,300 to 3,600 COVID-19 tests per day.
Dix added that 1,234 acute care beds have been made available in hospitals across the province due to “surge activation” that began on March 20.
The health minister said B.C. usually sees 103.5 per cent occupancy in its acute beds at this time of year. As of Monday, only 68.6 per cent of acute care hospital beds were occupied in the province.
Meanwhile, Dix said that other facilities could be temporarily converted into health-care centres to free up space in hospitals.
Dix said that the Summit at Quadra Village in Victoria, which was designed as a residential and dementia care facility, could be converted into a broader health-care centre if necessary.
Two of the new cases announced Monday are in the Island Health region, bringing the area’s total to 39.
Meanwhile, the B.C. government is continuing to stress the importance of practising physical distancing when out in the community. Dix says it is be safe to be outdoors as long as people stay two metres apart from one another.
While Dix stressed the importance of self-isolation and social distancing, the health minister added that he was thankful for the “extraordinary changes” that British Columbians are taking to help protect the province’s communal health.