3 more COVID-19 deaths recorded in B.C. as total number of cases climbs to 472
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says 100 people have recovered from respiratory illness
Three more people have died of complications related to COVID-19 in B.C. in the past two days, health officials confirmed Monday, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 13.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 472 people have now tested positive for the coronavirus, with 48 new cases provincewide since Saturday.
Two of the three new deaths are linked to care homes in Metro Vancouver: one at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver and the other at Haro Park centre in Vancouver. The third person who died was an elderly person who lived in the Fraser Health region.
Henry said there were 33 people in hospital as of Monday, 14 of whom were in intensive care.
Eleven of the 13 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C. have been recorded at long-term care homes.
100 people recovered
On a positive note, Henry said testing has proven there are now 100 people considered to be recovered in B.C. They have been cleared to stop isolating.
"That is a good thing to put that on our books, finally," Henry said.
The total number of cases, by region, as of Saturday:
- 248 in Vancouver Coastal Health.
- 150 in Fraser Health.
- 39 in Island Health.
- 30 in Interior Health.
- 5 in Northern Health.
There are now confirmed cases at six separate long-term care facilities in the Lower Mainland.
One worker at the German-Canadian Care Home in South Vancouver and another staffer at Delta View Care Centre in Delta, B.C., have tested positive for the respiratory virus. Outbreak response is underway at both facilities.
In addition, Hollyburn House in West Vancouver and Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam have each seen positive cases.
Both Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix urged the public to continue to stay at home and avoid other people outside their household to protect everyone, especially the vulnerable seniors population during the unprecedented outbreak —an effort Dix called "the greatest fight of our time."
"We have introduced some very strict measures. Things that I, in my 30 years of actually working on pandemic planning, never actually thought I would implement; things like travel restrictions and closures of schools and the physical distancing measures that we are requiring of everybody right now," Henry said.
"But we've seen the devastation that this virus can have on our communities and on our families and these are the measures that we need, now."
WATCH: Dr. Bonnie Henry describes the day B.C.'s understanding of the pandemic changed "dramatically"
Henry said B.C. has tested 18,000 people for the coronavirus as of Monday. A backlog of testing accumulated over the last week-and-a-half is "almost resolved," she said.
Large gatherings need to stop: Henry
B.C. remains under a state of emergency, and residents have been ordered to stay home as much as possible and avoid groups to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Dix has said the directive for social, or physical, distancing is not a request.
Henry said she has heard of large gatherings such as weddings and funerals still going forward despite the order. She asked British Columbians to find another way to celebrate occasions and stop bringing crowds together.
"We put people at risk if we think older people, in particular, should be coming together for those joyous occasions," Henry said.
"I have also heard of people who have travelled from the United States for those events. That can't happen.
"[Weddings and funerals] are situations where we have seen quite wide transmission of this virus, both here in Canada and in other countries."
WATCH: Health Minister Adrian Dix says British Columbians have to go 'all in' on distancing:
Henry has encouraged people to spend time outside, but only with members of the same household and always two metres away from others.
"Every day you and your family stay distanced from others ... the better prepared we will be for the coming days and coming weeks. We must do everything possible, every day, to protect our communities and protect our loved ones."
The health officer said most people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in B.C. are older, though there is a cluster of people in their 30s and 40s — mostly health-care workers related to outbreaks in the Vancouver area.
There are at least 20 cases associated with a dental conference that took place in Vancouver in early March. Henry said the incubation period for the conference attendees has now passed, but health-care officials are following up with attendees' contacts.
However, Henry said she is only aware of local cases. More than 14,000 people attended the conference from around the world.
If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With files from The Canadian Press