Today's update on COVID-19 from Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix delivered a significant spike in new cases, with 71 confirmed cases of the virus recorded today making for a total of 1,795 cases in British Columbia.
745 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 747 are in the Fraser Health region, 110 are in the Island Health region, 153 are in the Interior Health region and 40 are in the Northern Health region, which indicates that there has been no increase since Tuesday for the Northern Health Authority.
Today's review also delivered the news of three more deaths related to the COVID virus
“We are saddened to report three new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions, for a total of 90 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones. “
There was also a slight increase in outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living facilities over the last 24 hours. With three new outbreaks in long-term care and assisted-living facilities in the last day, reported from the Eden Care Centre, the Guildford Seniors Village and the New Vista Society.
In total, 19 facilities and one acute-care unit have active outbreaks, with outbreaks now declared over at 10 care facilities.
1,079 British Columbians have now recovered from the COVID-19 virus, 103 remain hospitalized, while 46 are in ICU, the remainder are recovering in their homes.
The health officials also made note of the ongoing realization of community outbreaks and the need to continue to work towards breaking any chains of transmission, highlighting how if anyone is exhibiting even mild symptoms they need to stay away from others contact a care provider.
“We continue to experience new community outbreaks in our province. This tells us that we have more work to do to break the chains of transmission.
We have been clear from the outset, we are taking a whole-province approach and we need every individual, every business and every community to do that same. We cannot afford to have any weakness in our firewall that will result in a surge in new cases.
To ease restrictions, we need a continued decline in both the number of new cases and the number of outbreaks. Until we clear that important hurdle, we can’t begin to make changes.
We know that many people experience mild symptoms, making it difficult to determine if you have COVID-19 and increasing the likelihood of transmission.
That is why it is critically important that if you are ill – whether you feel it is a cold, allergies or COVID-19 – to stay home, stay away from all others and contact your health-care provider or call 811 to get tested."
The Health Minister followed up on those themes, with Mr. Dix making note of the large outbreaks at processing plants and correctional sites and the importance of getting into the mindset that if you are sick to stay home from work.
Issues related to long term care facilities also dominated some of the Q and A period from the report, with Mr. Dix noting that the shift in procedures currently underway towards staffing is the start of a wider overview to address the situation that has evolved.
"It is happening, it's a provincial health order, it's a direction and that is going to be the direction from now on. It involves thousands of people, so I think the task will be completed soon. But the order is in place and that's the direction that we've headed in, that we're on and is absolutely necessary in these times and of course we have to make sure that the consequences of that is that care homes have adequate staff to take care of people in care"
Dr. Henry noted that she hoped to be able soon allow for at least one family member to be able to visit patients both in seniors residences and hospital settings.
"There are exceptions right now, particularly for people in long term care also in hospital, who are at end of life in particular, and yes those exceptions we expect to continue. I absolutely hope to be able to at least have one family visitor be available, to be able to go into long term care to spend time only with their family member ... I don't see us being able to open up the care homes like we had, where there's group events and families and others come in to be with our seniors and elders, but I do hope we'll be able to open it up to have at least one member to be able to come and spend time I know how difficult it is"
The end of the Question and Answer period featured some background on the outbreak at the poultry processing plant in Vancouver and what has been discovered about that situation to date.
"Arrangements were made for everybody in the workplace to be assessed and for an inspection to be done to understand how close they were together and what protocols they had in place ... They are now all home, the factory has had to be closed down because of the amount of illness, but also to ensure that appropriate precautions and changes to the work flow could be done to safely protect the workers in that facility"
You can review the Wednesday statement here.
Earlier in the day, Premier John Horgan addressed a range of items in a thirty minute press conference, you can explore those themes here.
The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.
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