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

First responders continue to rally in support of Kelowna health care workers

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Fur Brigade Trail was transportation route in Okanagan Valley

Transportation corridor passed through Nicola Prairie, now Summerland

No hesitation; two bystanders assist in Penticton house fire rescue

“I’d do it for anybody,” says Penticton man after assisting in house fire rescue

Summerland churches go online during COVID-19 pandemic

Livestream services, online support provided to congregations and community

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Okanagan garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain in Kelowna

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Most Read