B.C. announces 30 more cases of COVID-19, including 3 more deaths

B.C. announces 30 more cases of COVID-19, including 3 more deaths
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Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. Provincial Health Officer

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced 30 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including three additional deaths.

There are now 103 cases in COVID-19 in B.C. and four deaths. Six cases are in hospital. Five people have recovered.

There are seven new cases on Vancouver Island. Health officials will only provide the health region where patients reside but a Courtenay doctor said there was a case in the Comox Valley.

All the COVID-19 related deaths are from the Lynn Valley Care home in North Vancouver, the site of B.C.’s first outbreak of COVID-19.

There are four cases related to the Pacific Dental conference in Vancouver from March 6 to 7. Everyone who went there must self isolate, Henry said.

She added that the conference went ahead at a time when B.C. was recommending against large medical conferences.

“I’m very disappointed in that fact,” Henry said.

B.C. will also be cancelling all scheduled elective surgeries and closing casinos.

Dix said all hospitals, except for Lions Gate Hospital, in B.C. are at outbreak response phase 2, which means the hospital only allows emergency procedures. Lions Gate Hospital, located in north Vancouver, is at outbreak phase 3, which means it will only accept emergency patients.

Dix said they are working on opening on more long-term care beds to free up hospital space.

Gatherings of 50 more are now cancelled, the same action taken in Washington state. Pharmacists can also now refill prescriptions without an additional doctor note and doctors will be getting compensation.

“This is not forever but this is important for now and the foreseeable future,” Henry said.

Canada is now denying entry to nearly everyone who isn’t a Canadian citizen or permanent resident but Americans are exempt from that ban.

However, Dix is urging U.S. citizens not to travel to B.C. at this time.

“We think even stronger actions are necessary but every action taken we support,” Dix said when asked if Horgan wanted more action at the U.S. border.

Henry and Dix said all Canadians returning from another country, including the U.S., must self isolate for 14 days upon return.

“We can flatten that curve and we can manage,” Henry said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the level of integration between Canada and the United States is behind that decision.

But he says there’s more work to be done in the coming days to ensure Canadians are being kept safe and that the necessary goods keep flowing.

Trudeau says Canada and the U.S. are co-ordinating closely.

In an effort to ease the burden on HealthLink 811, B.C. has set up a dedicated COVID-19 line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319.

Read more about COVID-19 symptoms here. 

Henry said anyone with mild symptoms will just need to stay home as health officials want to make sure tests are used for more serious cases.

With files from The Canadian Press


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