What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on April 14, 2020
Dr. Bonnie Henry reports 3 more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday bringing B.C.'s total deaths to 72
- Health officials announced three more deaths Tuesday, bringing B.C.'s total to 72.
- Officials said 1,517 people have tested positive for COVID-19.
- 942 people have recovered from the illness.
- 134 COVID-19 patients are in hospital; 58 of those are in intensive care.
- With a new outbreak at Vancouver's South Granville Park Lodge, 21 long-term care and assisted-living homes are currently affected.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on Tuesday 27 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,517.
Three more people died due to COVID-19 over the weekend. All three were connected to long-term care homes, two in the Vancouver Coastal Health authority's jurisdiction and one in Fraser Health.
Outbreaks are ongoing in 21 long-term care and assisted-living homes. South Granville Park Lodge in Vancouver is the latest to be added to the list.
Henry said 134 people in British Columbia were in hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday. Fifty-eight were in intensive care.
Speaking to specific outbreaks, Henry said there were three more COVID-19 cases among a group of temporary workers at a nursery operation who are now in quarantine.
At the Mission Institution, a federal medium-security prison in Mission, B.C., 41 inmates and correctional officers have tested positive for COVID-19, with seven in hospital, Henry said Tuesday.
She said Abbotsford Regional Hospital has set up a dedicated unit to care for people infected in that outbreak and the province's Mobile Medical Unit has been deployed to Abbotsford to help with the prison outbreak.
Not B.C.'s only public health emergency
Tuesday's briefing fell on the four-year anniversary of B.C.'s declaration of another public health emergency.
On April 14, 2016, the province declared an emergency over the growing number of overdose deaths.
On the anniversary, Henry spoke to people living with addiction and their families and assured them they are still a priority.
"I want you to know you are not alone," she said.
"We're not letting [the COVID-19] crisis overtake the importance of our response to our overdose crisis and the work that we need to continue to do to support people who use drugs."
Henry said that work includes addressing homelessness and mental heath issues and supporting people living with addictions.
Too early to set date for relaxing restrictions
Henry also said Monday B.C. would need to consider a number of factors before setting a date for current restrictions to be eased, including the status of cases in neighbouring provinces, the ability to monitor the border with the U.S. and quickly detect outbreaks and the capacity of B.C.'s health-care system.
When asked Tuesday about concerns in some B.C. communities about long-weekend tourists travelling unnecessarily, Henry urged people not to make assumptions.
"We need to be thoughtful about people and not just assume that because you see a licence plate or you see someone you don't recognize that they don't have a valid reason for doing what they're doing," she said.
Some might be students returning home, she said. Some might be checking up on loved ones
Health Minister Adrian Dix said "overwhelmingly" British Columbians are getting the message to stay at home and there's no data to suggest widespread violations of stay-at-home orders or advice.
On Tuesday, Premier John Horgan said the way in which B.C. returns to normal will also inform how the government rolls out additional financial help for business owners looking to recover.
"As we get ahead of this, and we start to see a return to normalcy, we will have a better understanding of how deep the impact has been on small businesses and we will be able to adjust new programs," Horgan told CBC's On The Island.
The premier also praised B.C.'s "flattening of the curve," though he said it's still a cautious optimism and the province has to stay committed and stay home.
"I'm very proud to be in B.C. today ... I believe that we are on the right track," Horgan said.
- Your guide to financial help available for people in B.C. affected by the crisis
- How to apply for EI and COVID-19 emergency benefits
- Get the latest advisories, updates and cancellations for B.C.
Top stories today
- TransLink said it is losing around $75 million every month due to low ridership. The transit authority is asking for emergency relief funding from the federal and provincial governments to avoid unprecedented service cuts.
- B.C. dentists say they've been unable to collect $36 million in pandemic insurance because the province has not officially ordered dental offices to close.
- Dr. Bonnie Henry said mass testing isn't an effective strategy for COVID-19 because nearly one third of the results could be false negatives.
- Vancouver Coastal Health declared an outbreak at the South Granville Park Lodge care home in Vancouver after two residents tested positive for COVID-19.
- Officials said long-weekend traffic was down up to 92 per cent on major BC Ferries routes between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, compared to the same period last year.
- Still, thousands have signed an online petition asking that access to Vancouver Island via BC Ferries be restricted to essential services, supplies, and residents only.
- Police were called to break up a hand-sanitizer giveaway run by a distillery in Kelowna, B.C., after fights broke out.
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 5 p.m. PT Tuesday, there were 27,063 reported cases in Canada. A tally of deaths linked to the novel virus maintained by CBC News has 978 deaths recorded in Canada. There are two known coronavirus-related deaths of Canadians abroad — one in Japan and another in Brazil.
The numbers 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:
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.
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 email@example.com