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:
“Today, we are providing case updates for two 24-hour reporting periods: March 22 to 23, and March 23 through to this morning.
“In the first reporting period through March 23, 2020, we had 67 new cases, for a total of 539 cases in British Columbia.
“In the last 24 hours, we have had 78 new cases, for a total of 617 cases in British Columbia.
“This represents 145 new cases since we reported yesterday morning.
“Two additional residential care homes have confirmed cases. One is a health-care worker at the Little Mountain Place residential care home in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, and one is a resident in Evergreen Heights assisted-living residence in the Fraser Health region. Public health officials are providing staff support to implement outbreak protocols.
“Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 330 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 194 are in the Fraser Health region, 44 are in the Vancouver Island Health region, 41 are in the Interior Health region and eight are in the Northern Heath region.
“In total, there have been 13 deaths from COVID-19 in British Columbia, in large part as a result of the clusters in long-term care homes.
“We are very pleased to report that 28% of cases, or 173 individuals, have now recovered and are no longer in isolation.
“Additionally, of the total COVID-19 cases, 59 individuals are currently hospitalized, 23 of those are in intensive care, and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
“As the escalating numbers across B.C. show us, there is circulation and risk of COVID-19 throughout British Columbia. While the majority of known cases are in the Lower Mainland, no community or individual is immune – whether in the North, on Vancouver Island, young or old.
“We must remind ourselves that the virus can spread with minimal symptoms and that is why physical distancing, especially staying away from people at higher risk, is so critically important at this time.
“Equally important is for all of us to know that, despite the challenges before us, our province and our country will get through this. Let’s continue to join together and support each other.
“We continue to look to the World Health Organization, and other parts of the world with major outbreaks, to learn and adapt our response here in B.C. This is informing our strategy on testing and hospitalization.
“To help British Columbians who may have questions about COVID-19 symptoms, yesterday we launched a self-assessment app. In the last 24 hours, 18,800 users have downloaded it. The online self assessment tool on the BC Centre for Disease Control website has also been used almost 2.5 million times since its launch last week.
“Later this week, we will present our latest epidemiological modelling.”
Written and released by BC Government.