British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on April 18, 2020

After another week without significant leaps in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations or deaths, British Columbians have been given a glimmer of hope about the future.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced three new coronavirus deaths on Saturday

Sydney Wong, age three, plays as her family draws a chalk heart on the sidewalk outside a B.C. Ambulance Service station in Vancouver on Friday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • On Saturday, B.C. announced 29 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 1,647.
  • Three more people have died of the disease, for a total of 81.
  • 987 patients have recovered. 
  • 115 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 54 in intensive care.

After another week without significant leaps in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations or deaths, British Columbians have been given a glimmer of hope about the future.

On Saturday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said B.C. must find a "sweet spot" for increasing social interactions over the summer.

Henry said B.C. residents will likely have more opportunities for social interactions over the next few months, but that "realistically, there will be no major events this summer."

The province says that if the number of people with active novel coronavirus infections continues on its downward trend, some currently restricted activities could be allowed as early as a month from now.

Until then, officials say British Columbians can't let up on strict physical distancing measures and diligent hand washing to halt the spread of COVID-19.

As of Saturday, B.C. has confirmed a total of 1,647 cases of the virus and 81 people have died. Henry announced 29 new cases on Saturday and three additional deaths. A total of 987 people have recovered and 115 people are in hospital, including 54 in intensive care.

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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

As of 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, Canada had 33,128 confirmed coronavirus cases. A tally of COVID-19 deaths maintained by CBC News has recorded 1,367 deaths in Canada, with another two coronavirus-related deaths abroad.

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:

  • 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

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