What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on April 24, 2020
The number of hospitalized patients has fallen to 96, but 4 more people have died
- Another 29 cases have been confirmed, for a total of 1,853 to date.
- Four more people have died, bringing B.C.'s total to 98 so far.
- As of Friday afternoon, 96 COVID-19 patients are in hospital, including 41 in critical care.
- 1,114 people have recovered from the disease.
- An outbreak has been detected at a second poultry processing plant in Metro Vancouver.
B.C. has recorded another four deaths from COVID-19, along with 29 more confirmed cases of the disease.
The latest figures, announced in a news release Friday afternoon, bring B.C.'s totals to 1,853 cases and 98 deaths.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 96 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 41 in critical care. A total of 1,114 people have recovered from the disease.
While B.C.'s figures continue to suggest a flattening of the curve of infection, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are urging people to stay the course on physical distancing and good hygiene to prevent further spread.
"As you get outside and safely spend time with loved ones, let's continue to stay strong and show care and compassion to those around us, by ensuring we do not undo all of our hard work and sacrifice," they said in Fridaynews release.
Outbreaks at 2 poultry plants
There are now COVID-19 outbreaks at two poultry processing plants in Metro Vancouver.
On Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that two cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed at Coquitlam's Superior Poultry plant.
It's a sister facility to the United Poultry plant in Vancouver, where 35 cases have been confirmed as of Friday afternoon.
Seventy-eight people have tested positive for the virus at Mission Institution, a federal prison, and there are currently active oubreaks at 20 long-term care homes and three acute-care units in B.C.
Rent help for small businesses
The federal government on Friday announced a new aid program for struggling small businesses to help cover rent expenses.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance will offer forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners. It will cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June.
The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible tenant's rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a pledge not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.
Trudeau said the small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
- 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
- B.C. is "actively discussing" tracking information on the race and ethnicity of COVID-19 patients.
- A group of engineering students from the University of British Columbia are among the final 10 competitors in an international competition designed to find a low-cost ventilator to help patients with COVID-19.
- Amateur opera singer Jay LaFlamme is becoming a big hit on the retirement home parking lot circuit, entertaining residents cooped up because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- If you are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. and struggling to find someone to watch your children, there are likely spaces still available with professionals in your community.
- The Vancouver Aquarium has received a flood of support from the public since it announced its precarious financial situation.
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 7:50 a.m. PT on Friday, Canada had 42,750 confirmed and presumptive cases, with 15,181 listed by provinces and territories as resolved or recovered. A CBC News tally of coronavirus-related deaths, which is based on provincial data, local public health information and CBC reporting, put the death toll at 2,232 in Canada, plus two 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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
With files from The Canadian Press