British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on the coronavirus in the province, during a news conference in Vancouver, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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

13 people in total have died due to COVID-19 in B.C.

Three more people have died as a result of COVID-19 in B.C., provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday.

The total number of cases in the province has now hit 472, with 48 new cases since Saturday. Henry said 33 people are in hospital and 14 are in intensive care units. The virus has lead to 13 deaths. Henry said two of the three new deaths reported Monday were at care homes: one at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver and the other at Haro Park Centre in Vancouver. The third was an elderly person living in Fraser Health.

However, Henry said 100 people have now recovered from the virus and been released from self-isolation. The province has tested 18,000 people, and Henry said she hoped the backlog would be cleared up in the next couple of days.

Health Minister Adrian Dix addressed concerns over the healthcare system’s capacity. Dix said there were 1,234 beds added to the system since March 20, and 157 of those were critical care ones.

Speaking to reports of face mask shortage, Henry said it’s “top of mind,” but she’s not aware of any current shortages in the province. She said that homemade cloth masks are not effective enough for healthcare workers, despite the good intentions of people looking to donate them.

READ MORE: Vancouver businesses not obeying COVID-19 rules to get hit with fines of up to $50K

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The 472 cases in B.C., broken down by health authority, are: 248 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 150 in Fraser Health, 39 in Island Health, 30 in Interior Health and five in Northern Health.

Henry reiterated warnings to socially distance and to self-isolate if you have symptoms or have returned from travelling.

She said that despite the photos posted to social media, most people are following social distancing measures, which include staying two metres apart and not congregating in groups of 50 or more.

Henry cited a personal friend who attended a virtual funeral this weekend.

“We need to be able to do those important rituals… in a way that is safe for everybody,” she said.

“But we put people at risk if we think older people should be coming together for a joyous event.”


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