British Columbia

What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. on April 24, 2020

B.C. has recorded another four deaths from COVID-19, along with 29 more confirmed cases of the disease.

The number of hospitalized patients has fallen to 96, but 4 more people have died

A worker closes the gate to the Superior Poultry processing plant in Coquitlam, where health officials have announced a COVID-19 outbreak. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

THE LATEST:

  • 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.

Workers are pictured at Superior Poultry Processors in Coquitlam, B.C., on Thursday. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

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.

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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 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:

  • 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

With files from The Canadian Press

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