British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on April 6, 2020

B.C. recorded 63 new cases over a 48-hour time period, and one additional death.

B.C. recorded 63 new cases over a 48-hour time period, and one additional death

Bus operator Mark Bester performs an inspection of his bus at the Vancouver Transit Centre in Vancouver last week. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • B.C. recorded 63 new cases over a 48-hour time period, and one additional death.
  • A total of 1,266. COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in B.C.
  • 783 of those cases have recovered from the illness.
  • 140 patients are hospitalized, with 72 in intensive care.
  • 39 people have died.
  • 23 long-term care homes now have cases, along with two B.C. prisons.
  • The City of Vancouver has made 14,300 visits to businesses to make sure they're following public health orders.
  • One business licence has been suspended in Vancouver and 19 orders to comply have been issued.
  • Monday will see further reductions in TransLink service.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 63 new coronavirus cases in the province on Monday, bringing the total number of identified cases to 1,266.

The update reflects two 24-hour time periods, with 26 new cases recorded between Saturday and Sunday, and 37 new cases recorded between Sunday and Monday.

One more person has died from the virus. As of Monday afternoon there were 140 people in hospital in B.C., with 72 people in intensive care.

The application portal for the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit is now open for eligible Canadians who have lost their income because of COVID-19. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 240,000 people had already successfully applied for the benefit within the first few hours after the process opened Monday morning.

The emergency financial aid offers $2,000 a month for up to four months to help businesses and families struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic, including those not eligible for EI, contract employees and freelancers.

The application window has been staggered by birth month. People born in January, February and March can apply Monday. People with birthdays later in the year will have their days later this week.

Speaking just after 8 a.m. PT, the prime minister said changes will be announced in "coming days" to offer help for people who aren't currently eligible for the CERB, such as students and people whose hours have been reduced but not cut entirely.

"There are groups of people who aren't benefitting from the [CERB] who probably should," Trudeau said.

B.C. must stay committed to distancing: Dr. Bonnie Henry

Henry said that B.C.'s curve appears to be flattening, with the percentage of cases no longer increasing daily.

She said this tentative bit of good news is thanks to luck, timing and early preparation on B.C.'s part. She said B.C. recorded some of the earliest cases of COVID-19 in the country and was able to implement measures earlier on.

But Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix urged B.C. residents to remain steadfast in their commitment to social distancing, especially as temperatures rise and a number of religious holidays come up over the long weekend.

  • If you have recovered from COVID-19 and want to share your experience, please email us at impact@cbc.ca.

Henry also announced an additional outbreak in a federal correctional facility in B.C.

With the goal of physical distancing in mind, the City of Vancouver says staff have made 14,300 visits to local businesses to make sure they're complying with public health orders. Staff have issued 19 orders to comply with those orders, and suspended the licence of one business.

Meanwhile, they've also completed 500 inspections of construction sites, and handed out nine warnings about keeping workers at a distance from each other.

Transportation reductions

Starting Monday, there will be a further reduction of transit services in Metro Vancouver on bus and SeaBus due to plunging ridership and financial pressure. 

The SeaBus will only run every 30 minutes, all day long, instead of the usual 15-minute intervals

As of Wednesday, West Coast Express Train 4 will be cancelled. Buses with very low ridership will have reduced service.

Further passenger limits for BC Ferries

The federal government is bringing in further measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on commercial passenger vessels and ferries.

Ferries and essential passenger vessel operators are to immediately reduce the maximum number of passengers carried on board by half in an effort to comply with physical distancing rules.

Transport Canada said operators will also implement alternative practices to reduce the spread of the virus, such as keeping people in their vehicles.

It said the measures will be in place until at least June 30.

BC Ferries chopped its service by half this weekend after it said ridership was down by 80 per cent.

In response, Harbour Air said it is resuming daily flights between downtown Vancouver and Nanaimo to bridge the service gap. A statement said the flights are only to "support essential travel for a community that now has limited options" and anyone who does not need to travel should stay home. 

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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

There are now more than 15,800 test-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with cases recorded in every province and territory except Nunavut. As of 7:30 a.m. PT on Monday, CBC News has counted a total of 307 COVID-19 related deaths in Canada. The provinces and territories that offer information on people who have recovered listed more than 3,280 COVID-19 cases as resolved.

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. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

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.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

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.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated there were two COVID-19 cases at the Okanagan Correctional Centre. In fact, testing has only found one case.
    Apr 05, 2020 1:36 PM PT

With files from The Canadian Press

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