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B.C. confirms 42 new cases of COVID-19, for total of 659

There are currently 64 people in hospital and 26 are in intensive care.
Photo: Dr. Bonnie Henry gives live update on COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. Screengrab.

There are now 659 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C., after health officials announced 42 new cases Tuesday.  

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports that there are 339 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), 218 in Fraser Health, 47 on Vancouver Island, 46 in Interior Health and 9 in Northern Health. 

A health care worker has tested positive at another long-term care home - the Broadway Pentacostal Lodge in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. 

There are currently 64 people in hospital and 26 are in intensive care. There has been one new death in the province.

183 people have fully recovered from COVID-19 in B.C. Henry notes that this means that most people, particularly who are young and have mild illness, are recovering from this virus at home.

The coroner's office is currently investigating the death of the dentist who attended the Pacific Dental Conference. Henry says there is no additional information to report at this time.

Henry emphasizes that there has been a dramatic increase in need for personal protective equipment for frontline workers. She notes that the 'burn rate' is much higher than expected, and that a number of orders have arrived, but that the province is looking for alternative ways to meet the demand.

So far, 55 health care workers have been affected.

"Small groups, even two or three, can cometimes be that transmission point," says Henry. 

"Even small gatherings in the park or your home we can't do."

Henry underscores that people must come together virtually and find alternate ways to come together. 

"Physical distance and social connection."

At yesterday's briefing, Henry underscored that the province is moving the focus on testing to identifying cases where the source is unknown, such as in community spread. For anyone who comes into the country and falls ill, Henry recommends that they stay home rather than risk infecting someone else. Of course, if their symptoms are severe they should still seek medical attention.

"We know the source of infection for anyone coming from outside of Canada," notes Henry. "We assume they have the virus and ask them to self-isolate for 14 days."

"We don't need them to come in for testing."

Henry also reinforced the importance of social distancing while still remaining relationships via technology. 

Last week, Henry noted that people should consult the new online assesment tool if they aren't sure if they require further testing or assessment for COVID-19. She also underscored the importance of physical distancing, hand washing, covering your mouth if you cough, not touching your face and staying home if you are sick.