The B.C. Ministry of Health has reported 48 new cases of novel coronavirus in the province, bringing the total number cases in B.C. to 472 people.
248 of these cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Region, 150 in Fraser Health, 39 on Vancouver Island, 30 in Interior Health and 5 in Northern Health region.
There are now a total of 33 people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, and 14 of those people are in intensive care.
In good news, 100 people have now recovered from novel coronavirus in B.C., as many of them had a mild form of the illness and the criteria that allowed them to come out of isolation has been met.
Unfortunately there are three additional people who have died from COVID-19. One of them is a resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre that has been hardest hit by the outbreak.
The second death was a resident of Haro Park care centre in Vancouver, and the third person was a resident of Fraser Health region who had contracted a community case of the virus.
A total of six long term care facilities have been affected by COVID-19, all of them on the mainland. The Lynn Valley Care centre now has 36 residents and 19 care workers that have been affected.
Dr. Bonnie Henry also stated that the backlog of test results in B.C. has almost been resolved.
Over the past week, the Ministry of Health has changed COVID-19 testing criteria to focus on health care workers, long term care communities, and clusters of the outbreak in the community that are not linked to travel.
This means that people showing symptoms may not qualify to get tested for COVID-19.
Anyone returning to Canada after travelling abroad is asked to self isolate and would not be tested if they were displaying mild symptoms of the virus.
Dr. Henry says there are currently no shortages of health care supplies in B.C., and provincial health authorities are working with federal authorities to make sure this remains the case.
The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic.
Earlier this week, B.C. joined Alberta and Ontario in declaring a public health emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the health ministry’s public health emergency.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C.
Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada will be temporarily banned by March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 360,627.
Nearly 15,500 people have died from the illness and 100,658 have made a full recovery.