27 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 3 more deaths

27 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 3 more deaths

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said there are 27 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including two more cases in the Island Health region.

The provincial total is now at 1,517. There are now 89 cases in Island Health, 658 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 141 in Interior Health and 28 in northern Health.

There have also been three more deaths: two in Vancouver Coastal and one in Fraser Health. All the deaths were in long-term care homes.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 134 COVID-19 patients in hospital, with 58 in intensive care.

Henry said a total of 942 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the province.

There also continues to be a COVID-19 outbreak at the Mission Institution. Forty-one people have now tested positive for the disease and seven are in hospital.

A dedicated unit has been created at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in response to the outbreak and officials are also looking into deploying a mobile medical unit if necessary.

There is also a new outbreak at a long-term care home: the South Granville Park Lodge. There are 21 active outbreaks at care homes in the Lower Mainland.

And another three people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bylands Nurseries in West Kelowna, the site of an ongoing outbreak among temporary foreign workers.

Earlier Tuesday, the federal government said starting at midnight,  all people returning to Canada will have to check into a hotel or other designated site unless they have an acceptable self-quarantine plan.

The government says returnees – whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not – must have an appropriate isolation plan that includes access to food and medicine.

They will also be forbidden to live with vulnerable people, such as anyone older than 65 or with pre-existing health conditions.

The B.C. government had started requiring self-quarantine plans last week. 

Henry said she expects the border control efforts to remain in place for a while and she is pleased to see the federal government followed B.C.’s lead.

As for travel within B.C., a concern by communities on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands over the Easter weekend. Henry said there is no benefit from trying to block people from coming into certain areas.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said it’s important to follow the evidence around COVID-19 and follow the provincial health officer’s advice, adding that people may not know why other people are coming to a community.

“We have to be in these times I think, extra vigilant, about being generous in times that are difficult for everybody,” Dix said.

READ MORE: Petition, politicians call for increased travel restrictions to Vancouver Island

Henry also acknowledged the ongoing opioid overdose crisis during her daily press briefing.

“I want you to know you are not alone,” Henry said. “We are not slowing down our response…we are not letting this crisis overtake our response to our overdose crisis.”

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, global COVID-19 cases have passed 1.9 million, with 121,897 people having died since the outbreak began.

To see previous case counts in B.C. and the epidemic curve, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website. 

With files from The Canadian Press 

Watch the April 14, 2020, news conference here:

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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