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March 16 update on new and existing COVID-19 cases in B.C…

BC GOVERNMENT UPDATE: Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“We are deeply saddened to announce that three people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recently passed away, all of whom were residents of the Lynn Valley Care Home. We offer our heartfelt condolences to their loved ones and the staff who cared for them during this difficult time.

“We are also announcing 30 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 103 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal, Fraser, Interior and Island health regions and were confirmed positive, based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing.

“Six people confirmed positive are in acute care, five have fully recovered and all others are self-isolating at home.

“A significant number of new cases are related to the Pacific Dental Conference 2020 held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 6 and 7, 2020. We are asking anyone who attended to self-isolate until March 22, 2020.

“Today, we are taking a number of additional steps to address the changing situation in B.C. and ensure our health-care system is best positioned to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“British Columbia’s health authorities are directed to immediately move all hospitals in the province to Outbreak Response Phase 2. This means hospitals will undertake only urgent and emergency procedures and will postpone all non-urgent scheduled surgeries. Hospitals will review operating-room capacity daily to prioritize urgent and emergency cases. 

“Lions Gate Hospital in the Vancouver Coastal Health region is directed to move to Outbreak Response Phase 3. This means the hospital will accept only emergency patients. Lions Gate Hospital is also preparing to open a dedicated COVID-19 unit to provide care to those with the virus.

“These measures will assist hospitals to redeploy and train essential service health-care providers on critical care related to COVID-19 to ensure sufficient medical supplies for patients and staff who need them most, and to further increase capacity to respond to the potential for a surge of COVID-19 patients requiring acute care.

“We have worked with the College of Pharmacists to advise pharmacies to provide patients with a prescription refill or an emergency supply of their medications if needed. This will give physicians more time to care for patients with acute care needs. British Columbians are asked to respect this temporary arrangement and are reminded that there is no need to stockpile medication.

“To further enhance the availability of physicians for all British Columbians, the Province will provide physicians compensation for providing virtual-care services. We have also requested all health regulators to begin emergency registration of non-practising or retired health-care professionals, including professionals from other jurisdictions and the armed forces.

“Further, we are moving to restrict visitors in long-term care to essential visits only. Essential visits include compassionate visits for end-of-life care and visits that support care plans for residents based on resident and family needs, for example, families who routinely visit to provide assistance with feeding or mobility.

“In an effort to allow 811 health-care professionals to support more people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who require assistance with other health issues, the Province has created a dedicated phone service to provide British Columbians non-medical information about COVID-19. This includes the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing, as well as access to support and resources from the provincial and federal governments.

“British Columbians can reach service representatives seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., by calling 1 888 COVID19. Information is available in more than 110 languages.

“We have also taken additional action to enhance social distancing and limit transmission. These efforts are not forever, but they are important for now.

“We are issuing a new order prohibiting all public gatherings of more than 50 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings and other similar events. 

“On the recommendation of the provincial health officer, the attorney general, minister responsible for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, has ordered all casinos to close until further notice to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This order came into effect 11:59 a.m. today.

“We are also consulting with education stakeholders on potential recommendations for school operations following spring break.”

— original release

COVID-19 cases continue to climb and since Saturday, a total of 30 new cases have been reported in B.C…

In total, 103 cases of COVID-19 across the province. Of those 103, six people are in hospital, 3 have died and 5 have fully recovered. The deaths are from those who were at the Lynn Valley Care Home in North Vancouver.

In total, 4 people have now died from COVID-19 in B.C., which is the only province to record deaths to date. All surgeries have been cancelled across the province to free up beds. Only urgent needs surgery will be conducted.

All casinos across BC will now be closed. This came into effect today at 11:59 AM. A dental conference held in Vancouver on March 6 and 7 had over 15,000 attendees. Cases are now popping up from this conference which is a concern.

This is a new and upcoming story. Once more is released in full detail, we’ll update from the BC government.

  • 103 ppl infected in bc
  • 6 ppl in hospital
  • 5 ppl have met recovery
  • 3 have died, total of 4 deaths. Lynn Valley Care Home.
  • Increased cases Interior health and Island Health
  • Self isolate 14 days is a must for those returning to BC
  • 4 cases from a dental conference in Vancouver which had 15,000 people on March 6 and 7.
  • Majority of cases in B.C. are from those who travelled abroad and then returned with the virus
  • Cancel all gatherings 50 plus people
  • Visitors from America, particularly Washington State, are encouraged not to visit BC during this time
  • Close all casinos across BC
  • Pharmacy can refill prescriptions without a note from the doctor
  • Helpline 1-888-COVID-19
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