Cases increased by 48, but 100 have recovered, says provincial health officer

Eric Plummer, March 23, 2020

Today Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonny Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 48 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since Saturday, indicating a decline in confirmed infections from last week's numbers. (Province of B.C. photo)

Vancouver, BC — 

Provincial officials are reporting 48 news cases of COVID-19 since Saturday, with another two on Vancouver Island to bring the region’s total to 39.

B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonny Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix announced the latest numbers on the spread of the virus that brings on respiratory illness, including another three deaths to bring that total to 13. Two of these recent victims were long-term care residents - one from the Lynn Valley Care Home - while the other death was an elderly person living in the greater community. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in B.C. is now 472.

Positive news also came today, with the announcement that 100 of B.C.’s coronavirus cases had fully recovered and have been released form isolation.

After a week of rapidly growing numbers, the latest results came after a “backlog of testing” untaken across the province, said Dr. Henry, screening that has encompassed 3,300 to 3,600 people each day. Not everyone experiencing the dry cough, fever and muscle soreness associated with COVID-19 is advised to get tested, but anyone with these symptoms must isolate themselves at home for 14 days, urges health authorities. Those with severe symptoms are advised to get screened, as are long-term care residents and health-care workers.

To control the spread of a disease that has ravaged other countries, Canadians are being urged to keep a six-foot distance from each other while outside the home – or to stay at home altogether.

“Go home and stay home,” said Prime Minster Justin Trudeau in his daily address to the country. “This is what we all need to be doing, and we're going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks, or by enforcing the rules, if that's needed. Nothing that could help is off the table."

Under a provincial state of emergency, Dr. Henry has banned any gatherings of more than 50 people, an order supported by the First Nations Health Authority.

"The responsibility lies with each and every one of us to do everything possible to protect ourselves so in turn we protect our families, our elders and community,” said Colleen Erickson, FNHA board chair, in a press release. “Especially our Elders who are the keepers of our oral history, language and age-old wisdom." 

“Please heed this critical advice – our spiritual teachings place our Elders and most vulnerable citizens at the forefront of our collective responsibilities to our Nations,” added First Nations Health Council Chair Charlene Belleau. “During this time of self-isolation and social distancing (6-feet from each other), please use this time for prayer and self-reflection, stay safe and protect the health of you and your family.”