Fourteen confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in the Northern Health Region, with four of those in acute care, said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health in a press conference on March 30.
The last 24 hours have seen an increase of 70 new cases of COVID-19, said Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. provincial health officer, in a joint statement issued after the press conference, bringing the provincial total to 970 confirmed cases.
“Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 472 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 323 are in the Fraser Health region, 67 are in the Island Health region, 94 are in the Interior Health region and 14 are in the Northern Health region”, Dix said.
“To date, 469 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer have isolation requirements. Of the total COVID-19 cases, 106 individuals are currently hospitalized, 60 of those in hospital are in intensive care and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation,” the statement said.
“We are at a critical juncture in our provincial COVID-19 response. We have two paths ahead: we will begin to see evidence of a flattened curve or our rates of infection will rise even more, ” Henry said
“Our entire government is doing everything we can to address this challenge, and we need every person in our province to do the same. Let us be united in this singular purpose: in these next two crucial weeks we must be 100 per cent committed to flattening the curve and lessening the devastating impacts of this virus,” Henry said.
“While we are watching the epi-curve closely, we continue with the active readiness of our health-care system to prepare for the potential of a large spike in COVID-19 cases.”
Through out the province 19 major hospitals have been designated as primary COVID-19 facilities to deliver care to the most critically ill patients. A shipment of one million surgical masks has arrived and the province will continue to restock the personal-protection equipment supplies in hospitals.
“To maximize capacity at these primary sites, we are also readying a number of off-site treatment centres, such as the Vancouver Convention Centre (with resources for approximately 270 beds) and the new tower at the Royal Columbian Hospital (with resources for approximately 80 beds), to be ready for providing less acute in-patient care. In coming days, other health authorities will begin making similar preparations,” the statement said.
Also addressed in the statement was education for students.
“This week, our K-12 educators and students will begin a new form of learning as in-class education remains suspended. The Keep Learning BC website is a new resource to give families additional support and provide guidance on how to incorporate learning into their everyday activities,” Henry said.
“Equally important for families, as we all adjust to the physical distancing measures, is to use the many tools and creative solutions available to maintain the valuable social connections between students that would otherwise be provided in school settings.”
K-J Millar | Journalist
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