Three more COVID-19 deaths in B.C., including another in Island Health

Three more COVID-19 deaths in B.C., including another in Island Health
File photo
Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, at the COVID-19 news conference on April 15, 2020.

Three more COVID-19 deaths were announced in B.C. on Thursday, including one in the Island Health region.

The COVID-19 death toll in the province is now at 78 with three of those deaths in Island Health.

According to Island Health, the person was in their 80s and was in hospital.

“On behalf of Island Health, I want to share our condolences with family and friends of this individual. For members of the Island Health family who provided care and supported the family during this challenging time, you are in my thoughts and we are all grateful for the compassionate care you provided,” Kathy McNeil, Island Health, president and CEO said in a statement.

Fourteen new cases of COVID-19 were also announced Thursday. The total number of COVID-19 cases in B.C. is now at 1,575. Nine hundred and eighty-three people have recovered.

There are 94 cases in the Island Health region (two more than April 15), 670 in Vancouver Coastal, 630 in Fraser Health, 149 in Interior Health, and 32 in Northern Health.

Hospitalizations are down from 131 on April 15 to 120 on April 16. There are 56 people in intensive care, three fewer than yesterday.

There have been two new outbreaks in the last day: the Kootenay Street Village long-term care facility in the Interior health region and an acute care unit at the Ridge Meadows Hospital in the Fraser Health region.

Four long-term care facilities, where outbreaks had previously been declared over, also have new cases. A total of 26 long-term care and assisted-living facilities and one acute care unit have outbreaks.

Federal officials have announced 61 cases of COVID-19 at the Mission Institution (MI) federal correctional centre. There has been one death related to Mission Institution outbreak. The BC Coroners Service is investigating the death as part of its process.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health, did not appear in a daily press briefing on Thursday. They are scheduled to provide an update on the province’s modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic Friday morning.

“This week, temporary foreign workers are arriving in our province to help sustain our food and agricultural supplies. We welcome them to our province as they complete 14 days of self-isolation,” Henry and Dix said in a joint statement.

“We have also put a new provincial health officer’s order in place to require agricultural employers to establish and maintain infection control plans. To support these efforts, we have authorized bylaw enforcement officers to review these plans to ensure appropriate measures are in place to protect the workers and our communities.

“Our shared efforts to flatten the curve make a difference. Each day that we hold the line, we are stronger and better for it.”

Earlier Thursday, the British Columbia government announced it is offering cash-strapped communities relief measures that include tax payment delays, debt-borrowing initiatives and a 25 per cent commercial property tax cut, but not an outright financial bailout some cities have requested.

Finance Minister Carole James says most commercial property tax bills will be cut by a further 25 per cent with a second reduction in school property tax payments, which have already been chopped by 50 per cent.

James says in order to give businesses and landlords more time to pay commercial property taxes, the late payment date has been extended to October 1 from July.

She says to better address municipal cash flow and revenue shortfall issues, the province will allow local governments to borrow, interest-free, from their existing capital funds and carry debt into next year.

To see BC COVID-19 broken down, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control dashboard here. 

According to researchers with Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is over 2.1 million, with more than 143,000 deaths reported.  

With files from The Canadian Press 


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