FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry listens during a news conference regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in Vancouver, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

28% of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases have recovered: provincial health officer

Total case count grows to at least 617

Nearly one-third of the total COVID-19 patients in B.C. have recovered, the provincial health officer said Tuesday (March 24).

Dr. Bonnie Henry says 28 per cent of B.C.’s cases have recovered, even as the number of new ones grew.

Henry said the first two days of the week saw 145 new cases, with the province’s total hitting 617.

“We are seeing escalating cases across British Columbia. No community is immune,” Henry said.

The virus has spread to two new care homes, she added: one resident at Evergreen Heights in White Rock and one staff member at Little Mountain Place in Vancouver.

Henry confirmed reports that a dentist who attended the Pacific Dental Conference has died. He was in the Vancouver Coastal Health area, Henry said, but said she could not confirm if he had died as a result of COVID-19. There are 32 cases related to the event in B.C.

Henry said the key in B.C.’s fight against COVID-19 was to slow new cases to a “trickle not a flood,” in order to keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

MONDAY UPDATE: B.C. reports 3 new COVID-19 deaths but 100 people have recovered, Henry says

Health Minister Adrian Dix said hospital bed occupancy is at 66 per cent across the province, down from an average of 103.5 per cent. He said the critical care bed occupancy rate is at 55 per cent.

Dix said the province is doing about 3,500 tests a day.

He reiterated the need for 100 per cent compliance with social distancing and self-isolation rules.

“The next few weeks will be very very difficult… but we must make the efforts now,” Dix said.

READ MORE: B.C. COVID-19 tests up to 3,500 a day, care home staffing to change

READ MORE: $1,000 payment for COVID-19 affected workers won’t come till May

Henry said she did not believe B.C. would head the way of Italy, which has seen more than 69,000 cases and 6,820 deaths from COVID-19.

“I really do think that our testing strategy, early on, helped us understand what was happening in our community and when we started to have community spread.”

Henry said she could not comment on the B.C. death rate among its COVID-19 cases. She said that while 13 deaths out of 672 cases may seem like a high death rate – about two per cent – but that it is an inaccurate way to measure. Ten of those deaths are associated with an outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, Henry said, noting that this skews the numbers.

“We consider that as one event, rather than as 10 individual events,” she said.

“It also reinforces the importance of all the work we need to do to protect our elders and those most vulnerable, particularly in our longterm care and assisted living facilities.”

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Letter: Heartened by the work shown by communities

Dr. Paul Stent, acting mayor for the district of Fort St. James writes a letter to residents

Are you ready for bear season?

BC Conservation Officer Service in Vanderhoof says people should take their bird feeders down until next winter.

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

A curfew is being implemented by Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation

The First Nations community will also be putting up check-points due to COVID-19 concerns

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

Most Read