British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on April 11, 2020

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 35 new cases on Saturday, bringing British Columbia's total to 1,445.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 35 new cases on Saturday

Members of the Vancouver Park Board's champions program use equipment like hula hoops to demonstrate physical distancing. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • 35 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths were announced Saturday. 
  • The total number of people who have tested positive in B.C. is now 1,445.
  • 58 people have died.
  • 905 patients have recovered from the illness.
  • There were 134 COVID-19 patients in hospital as of Saturday, including 63 in intensive care.
  • The outbreak at Mission Institution continues to grow, with 26 cases now confirmed.
  • People in B.C. should not be travelling this long weekend unless it is absolutely essential.

Provincial health officials will be watching how the long-weekend actions of some people — who boarded ferries and travelled to communities where they don't live — will affect the trajectory of coronavirus infections in days ahead.

In the lead up to the Easter long weekend, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry pleaded with residents to stay committed to staying close to home, practising physical distancing and not travelling.

At her daily briefing on Saturday, Henry said "what happens this weekend is going to be reflected in what we see in the coming weeks." 

On Friday, there were numerous examples of people heading to smaller communities as the sun shone bright and temperatures rose.

CBC reporter Tina Lovgreen speaks with a woman at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal about why she was travelling from her Vancouver residence to her property on Galiano Island despite provincial advice not to travel this weekend. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Locals in smaller communities across the province voiced their frustrations Friday as visitors began arriving for the long weekend, potentially carrying COVID-19 to remote areas that don't have the resources to handle a major outbreak.

The concern comes as B.C. seems to be having more success in managing the pandemic than other jurisdictions. 

Hospitalizations and active cases of COVID-19 have been flat for the last 10 days. The number of new cases and deaths continues to increase, but at a slower rate than two weeks ago.

It got to the point where Henry has alluded to the possibility of returning to some activities that have been curtailed since mid-March. 

Many parks, beaches and other recreation areas in and around Metro Vancouver are closed, along with all provincial parks.

The closures are an attempt to keep crowds from gathering while bylaw officers and ambassadors in municipalities are out watching for anyone not observing physical distancing measures.

Henry is still encouraging people to get outside, but to do it while respecting physical distancing rules.

People take in the sunset near English Bay on Thursday evening. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

35 new cases Saturday

To date, B.C. has confirmed 1,445 cases of the virus and reported 58 deaths. Thirty-five new cases were announced Saturday, along with three new deaths.

The number of fully recovered patients is 905.

There are now 20 active outbreaks in long-term care homes in the Lower Mainland, while the number of cases at Mission Institution, a federal prison, continues to climb, with 26 confirmed.

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers said four corrections officers from Mission Institution have tested positive for COVID-19.

In Ottawa, Parliament was back in session on Saturday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered an address in the House of Commons on the government's work to support Canadians and limit the impacts of COVID-19.

He said his government is working on legislation to support workers and businesses with a new wage subsidy. 

Musician funding

On Saturday, the province announced one-time micro grants worth either $500 or $2,000 for musicians wanting to produce music and livestream it to British Columbians during the pandemic through a program called Showcase BC.

British Columbians can access all the grant performances through the Showcase BC website.

Vancouver singer and songwriter Dan Mangan said, as part of the government release, that most musicians are making efforts to lift peoples' spirits during the pandemic and the extra funding is welcome.

"Getting access to funding to keep the artistic community afloat makes all the difference to me and my peers," he said.

The province said it was working on a concert to be shown online next week on the site featuring B.C. musicians. It expects to announce the lineup soon.

Top stories today

Rev. Nick Meisl of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic parish takes confession from parishioners at a walk-in confessional in Vancouver on Wednesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Important reminders:

Health officials widely agree the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. 

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

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 3 p.m. PT Saturday, Canada had 23,318 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. The provinces and territories that provide data on recovered cases listed 6,663 as resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths, which is based on public health information and reporting, lists 702 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada, as well as two coronavirus-linked deaths of Canadians abroad.

The numbers, which are updated at least daily by the provinces and territories, are not a complete picture, as they don't account for people who haven't been tested, those being investigated as a potential case and people still waiting for test results. 

For a look at what's happening across the country and the world, check the CBC interactive case tracker.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority or 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

Find information about COVID-19 from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available in B.C. from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. PT, seven days a week at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319).

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep at least two metres away from people who are sick.
  • When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Masks won't fully protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca

With files from The Canadian Press

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