BC Coronavirus: What you need to know for April 14, 2020

BC Coronavirus: What you need to know for April 14, 2020
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Here's are the biggest storylines surrounding the novel coronavirus in British Columbia for April 14, 2020.

Here’s what you need to know surrounding the novel coronavirus in British Columbia for April 14, 2020:

Daily BC update

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will be shifting their daily update to 3 pm PT this afternoon. You are able to stream live on CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel. Yesterday, Dr. Henry announced there had been 45 new cases over the two days prior, including 11 new deaths. There are currently 137 people in hospital as a result of COVID-19, including 58 in intensive care. Dr. Henry and Dix also commended residents for their impressive social distancing practices, despite public concern about non-essential passenger volume on the BC Ferries.

Trudeau returns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also be back to make his daily national address, after taking a break Monday. He will be speaking at his regular time of 8:15 am PT, which can be watched on CHEK’s channels as well. Over the weekend, the House of Commons passed the $73 billion wage subsidy bill that will help businesses across Canada to keep employees on the payroll during the pandemic. Parliament will now turn their attention to figuring out how to meet consistently, safely, and virtually during the COVID-19 situation in order to continue to operate democratically.

Outbreak at Prison in BC continues

BC health officials say they’re doing their utmost to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 at a federal medium-security prison in Mission. The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers says there are six cases of COVID-19 among its staff and 41 among inmates at the prison located about 70 kilometres east of Vancouver. Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry says there was quite a lot of transmission before the outbreak was detected and it’s challenging to play “catch up” at facilities with close quarters. She says there has still been one positive case confirmed at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver, where several other COVID-19 tests came back negative.

Vancouver transportation seeks emergency funding

The agency that handles transit for the Metro Vancouver area is warning of “unprecedented cuts to service” if it does not receive emergency funding relief from the federal and provincial governments. TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond says the company is losing $75 million every month because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Desmond says TransLink has done its best to keep essential services operating, but has seen revenue cut in half since mid-March, and he warns of “cashflow issues within weeks.” TransLink operates bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express commuter train services across Metro Vancouver but Desmond says entire routes could be cancelled if emergency funding does not arrive.

Portable testing not reaching BC yet

A new Canadian-made rapid test for COVID-19 won’t be making its way to BC just yet. Health Canada has approved a test system developed by Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience, which uses a small, portable DNA analyzer that can deliver results in about an hour. BC’s provincial health officer Dr. Henry says all the available units of the new system were already spoken for. But Henry says the B-C Centre for Disease Control is already using the same nucleic acid test process and the province is working on sending its own similar rapid-test units to remote areas where turnaround time is a challenge.

Over 5 million Canadians receiving CERB

Federal figures released from Ottawa show that 5.38 million Canadians have successfully applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Applications for the government relief opened at the beginning of last week on April 6, with money arriving in Canadian bank accounts a few days later. The benefit will provide applicants with $500 per week for the next 16 weeks in an effort to keep Canadians afloat during the COVID crisis.

Global economy shrinking

The International Monetary Fund is out with a bleak forecast. It predicts the global economy will shrink by three percent this year and suffer its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Chief economist Gita Gopinath says the world has been put in a great lockdown and that COVID-19 has created a crisis like no other. She says the cumulative loss to the global gross domestic product could total nine-trillion-dollars — more than the economies of Germany and Japan combined. The IMF is predicting the Canadian economy will shrink 6.2 per cent this year and then post growth of 4.2 per cent next year.



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