29 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. – total of 1,203; 3 more deaths – total of 38

HEALTH Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Saturday announced 29 new cases, for a total of 1,203 cases in British Columbia.

Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 554 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 424 are in the Fraser Health region, 76 are in the Island Health region, 128 are in the Interior Health region and 21 are in the Northern Health region.

There have been 38 COVID-19 related deaths in British Columbia. In the last 24 hours, a further two deaths have occurred in the Vancouver Coastal health region and one in the Fraser Health region.

Dix and Henry said: “There are now outbreaks in 23 long-term care and assisted-living facilities in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions, with a combined 197 cases of COVID-19. Residents in these facilities are the most vulnerable citizens, and efforts to protect them continue to be a major focus of our health teams.

“To date, 704 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation.

“Of the total COVID-19 cases, 149 individuals are currently hospitalized, 68 of those are in intensive care and the remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

“Everyone in British Columbia is doing what it takes to protect our families, our elders, our health-care workers and our communities.

“We must continue to hold the line; to keep our firewall strong and flatten the curve.

“A key part of our response is high quality scientific research to help B.C. get through the first wave of COVID-19 safely and find ways to prevent it from returning here and around the world.

“A new COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee, led by Dr. David Patrick and supported by former provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall and other notable public health experts, is facilitating research efforts across the province.

“The committee’s work includes advising the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, which has received $2 million to fund research in several important public health areas.

“Their research will focus on B.C.-specific epidemiology and public health countermeasures to address some of the challenges of long-term care homes, inner city populations, rural communities, Indigenous people, and health-care workers. This is in addition to a variety of research that is already underway across B.C., as we do all we can to understand this virus, to stop transmission and protect our province.”