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B.C. confirms 48 new cases of COVID-19, provincial total now 472

There have been three new deaths in B.C.
Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 in B.C. on March 23, 2020. Screenshot

On Monday, March 23, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed 48 new "test positive" cases of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the provincial total of cases to date to 472. 

The cases are distributed as follows:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health 248
  • Fraser Health 150
  • Vancouver Island 39
  • Interior region 30
  • Northern Health 5

Additionally, 33 are overall hospitalized, with 14 in ICU. To date, 100  B.C. residents who tested previously tested positive are now considered recovered.

There have also been 3 new deaths, bringing the COVID-19 provincial death toll to 13. One death was from the Lynn Valley Care Centre, one from Haro Park Care Centre. One was from a community member in the Fraser Health region. Six health care facilities in B.C. are now affected.

Health Minister Adrian Dix expressed condolences on behalf of the province and its residents to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Dix added that we have doubled the amount of testing done weekly, and that will happen more again this week. 

Additionally, our acute care capacity has been increased by 1,234 beds across B.C. Our acute care bed is at 68% province-wide (typically over 100% at this time of year), and our critical care beds are at about 55% capacity. "We are going to continue to find ways to increase our capacity in acute care," said Dix.

Both Dix and Henry spoke to the social distancing measures being taken across B.C. in recent days, and both acknowledged the value of our essential services, in particular businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies. 

"We need to flatten the curve," said Dix. "You know that, we know that." 

"We are preparing for the weeks that are to come, and the scenarios that are before us," added Dix. However, much depends on B.C. residents participating 100% and adhering to the measures that are in place.

More to come.