COVID-19 deaths in B.C. now at 35, hospitalizations down

COVID-19 deaths in B.C. now at 35, hospitalizations down
Ben Nelms/CBC
Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry continue to provide daily updates on COVID-19 in B.C.

Four more people in B.C. have died from COVID-19, bringing the total to 35, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday.

Of the four deaths, three are linked to the Haro Park and Lynn Valley Care Centre. All of the deaths were in the Vancouver Coastal health region.

B.C. has 53 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 1,174. There are 74 cases in Island Health (two more than April 2, 2020), 541 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 412 in Fraser Health, 126 in Interior Health and 21 in Northern Health.

Henry also announced an outbreak at another care home. There are now 22 care homes in British Columbia with outbreaks where a total of 176 people have tested positive from COVID-19.

One hundred and forty six people are currently in hospital due to COVID-19 and 64 are in intensive care. That’s three fewer patients in hospital than Thursday and four fewer in the ICU.

Six hundred and forty one people have recovered.

READ MORE: BC Ferries suspends some routes, lays off hundreds due to COVID-19

Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are 4,339 vacant acute care beds in B.C. Fifty-nine per cent of the province’s acute care beds are occupied and 54.3 per cent of critical care beds are occupied. A total of 11,276 non-urgent elective surgeries between March 17 and April 2.
Henry once again reminded returning travellers to self-isolate for 14 days, which is required by law.

“We are holding the line for our families and for our communities,” Henry said.

On Thursday, the first two deaths from COVID-19 in the Island Health region were announced. Island Health said the individuals were in their 80s and 90s. 

Henry said Friday it is a tough time for teenagers and encourages them to talk to trusted adults about their anxieties and concerns.

“This is a transitional period in your life. What is happening right now is extraordinary,” Henry said.

The number of COVID-19 cases across the country has crossed 12,300, and is over one million worldwide.

Dix also addressed the White House ordering manufacturer 3M not to ship N95 respirators across the border to Canada. He called the news “disappointing” and said B.C. needs to support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ensure actions that don’t make sense for both Canadians and Americans aren’t pursued.

Dix also said it would not be helpful to withhold pulp from B.C. mills that 3M uses to make those masks.

“This action is wrong. It’s wrong for them, it’s wrong for us,” he said. “We shouldn’t respond with retaliation. We should respond with calls to work together.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the government is planning to “pull out all the stops” to press the U.S. on its plans to limit supplies to Canada.

The White House ordered manufacturer 3M not to ship N95 respirators across the border to Canada.

Freeland says Canada will push back hard.

She says all ministers are in touch with their U.S. counterparts and the provincial premiers have also been asked to get involved.

Watch the April 3, 2020 news conference below:


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