Monday, April 20, 2020

COVID update observes on five new deaths in BC, with increased cases for Northern Health; Province also expands health care service plans for Indigenous and rural areas

It being Monday, there was two sets of data reviewed from the weekend when it comes to the daily COVID-19 update, the first from the reporting period through April 19, made note of 29 new cases, for a total of 1,676 cases in British Columbia.

In the last 24 hours, BC recorded a further 23 new cases, for a total of 1,699 cases in British Columbia.

The newest review represents 52 new cases since those which were  reported on Saturday.

700 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 705 are in the Fraser Health region, 102 are in the Island Health region, 153 are in the Interior Health region and 39 are in the Northern Health region, the latter a jump of five since Saturday.

Five more families in British Columbia, are in mourning today, with word of the passing of five COVID related patients in the last 48 hours.

 “We are saddened to report five new COVID-19 related deaths, three in the first reporting period and two since yesterday, for a total of 86 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones." 

As well, there was a new case reported from a long term care facility in the province,  the new outbreak at the Chartwell Willow long-term care facility in the last day.

In total, 20 long-term care and assisted-living facilities, and one acute-care unit have active outbreaks.

Outbreaks have been declared over at six facilities, in addition to the provincial Okanagan Correctional Centre.

 “There are now 75 cases of COVID-19 associated with the Mission Institution federal correctional centre. Fraser Health officials continue to work with Correction Services Canada to manage this outbreak."

The Monday update also put some focus on concerns over new cases in Alberta that could have an impact on British Columbia, as well as to reinforce their guidance on work camp operations in BC.

“We have also seen a number of new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. related to the Kearl Lake project near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Anyone who was at the site from March to present is ordered by the provincial health officer to immediately self-isolate for 14 days and contact your primary care provider, 811 or local public-health teams. 

The guidance we have in place for work camps clearly outlines how to safely operate, and what should be done in the event of a positive case of COVID-19. It is important that employers and workers continue to follow these guidelines to stay safe."

It was also noted today that 1,039 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 104 individuals are currently hospitalized, 49 of those are in intensive care and the remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

You can review the full COVID-19 statement from Monday here.

Some new health measures were put in place for Indigenous communities and rural areas of the province, introduced earlier today as well.

With Premier Horgan and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Scott Fraser relaying some of the additional resources that will be provided.

People living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities have unique challenges in accessing the health care they need. This new collaborative framework will bring immediate relief to these communities, including a commitment to moving patients to the critical care they need at a moment’s notice. This will help our work to stop the spread of COVID-19, while supporting better health outcomes into the future.” -- Premier John Horgan

Among some of the actions to be delivered on by the province include:

Improved medical transportation options to larger centres, including flight and ambulance; 

Housing options for people looking to self-isolate near their families while remaining in their home communities; 

New and faster COVID-19 testing technology; culturally safe contact tracing that respects privacy in small communities; 

Access to Virtual Doctor of the Day, a program that connects First Nations members and their families in remote communities to a doctor or nurse practitioner using videoconferencing; 

Options for accommodation near larger centres with more medical services

Increased mental-health supports in communities.

Local leadership will determine how the services will operate in their communities.

Additional ambulatory services are included as part of the program, with and an additional 55 ground ambulances to be located in the province, with six more for the Northern Health region, though it was not specified where they will be based.

An expansion of air assets haas also been included as part of the program.

More on those measures can be found here, while video of the Monday afternoon outline is available here.

The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints

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