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B.C. confirms 92 new cases of COVID-19, for total of 884

There has been one more death.
Photo: Dr. Henry gives daily COVID-19 briefing in B.C. Screengrab.

There are now 884 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C., after health officials announced 92 new cases Saturday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports that there are 444 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), 291 in Fraser Health, 60 on Vancouver Island, 77 in Interior Health and 12 in Northern Health. 

There are now 12 long-term care homes that have had a patient or staff person test positive.

There are currently 81 people in hospital, and 52 are in intensive care. There has been one more death located in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

396 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.

"45% of cases have recovered," notes Henry.

"Everything that we're doing is to ensure that people get the care that they need." 

In terms of the peak, Henry remarks that we won't know whether we've reached it until we are past it. She says that once we see a decrease in daily numbers it will give an inclination, but she notes that the focus is on what can be done now.

“In the past few days, our upward path has been less severe than other places, but we continue to see steady increases in community transmission cases and continue to be concerned about outbreaks, which could quickly grow and challenge our pandemic response.The evidence is clear: with every person in British Columbia 100% committed to physical distancing, we can flatten the curve. Over the next two weeks we must be united in this one goal."

Henry adds that most of the fatalities have been in clusters in long-term care facilities, which the province considers a single event. 

In regard to protecting seniors in long-term care facilities, Henry explains how, "Right now for the pandemic we are taking an important initiative to make sure people are only working at one faciltiy."

Health Minister Adrian Dix adds that, "We didn't need a pandemic to know how important our health care workers are."

Henry notes that more people are going into ICUs, and critical care teams have recognized that putting a ventilator on a COVID-19 patient earlier means that they often stay in hospital for less time and recover quickly. As such, she notes that the criteria for putting a patient on a ventilator has expanded to include more people.

People with mild illness no longer require a double negative test to be considered recovered.

During Monday'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.

Live conference more to come..