BC health officials announced on Saturday that three more people in the province have died from COVID-19.
During a noon-hour press conference, BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced 29 new test-positive cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 1,647. A total of 81 people in BC have now died from coronavirus
Broken down by health region, Henry said there are 686 known cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 680 in Fraser Health, 97 on Vancouver Island, 150 in Interior Health, and 34 in Northern Health.
Of the total cases, 115 are hospitalized and 54 are in critical care. A total of 987 people have now fully recovered from the virus as well.
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On Friday, Henry and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix released the latest epidemiological modelling for the COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia.
The modelling compared BC’s current state to previous projections, and explained how the provincial healthcare system was prepared to tackle upcoming challenges.
Between January 15 and April 14, 2020, there were 1,517 total cases in the province, with the average case age being 54-years-old.
When compared to international jurisdictions, BC’s number of cases and growth rate is dramatically lower, albeit not as low as countries such as South Korea or Singapore.
It has, however, flattened much more than the rest of Canada, despite being exposed to the virus at an earlier date. It’s also much lower than countries such as Norway or Germany.
Data for cumulative cases begins tracking as soon as the area’s rate reaches two cases per million, which was late January for BC.
Henry stressed that BC’s numbers are “far below what they could have been” and that the province is slowing in new diagnoses.
“The difference is because of the collective actions we’ve taken across the province,” she says.
In response to developing an immunity to the coronavirus, Henry said that there are two things that could happen: The first is the idea of herd immunity, which involves many people getting sick and surviving; the second is discovering a vaccine.
“A small proportion of the population has been infected. Getting immunity from infection is not optimal and will not happen,” she said.
The goal, rather, is to “control transmission and growth” while minimizing the “unintended consequences” of health measures.
Health officials also hinted that elective surgery could also make a return over the coming weeks, although it’s essential to strike a balance that still limits the number of daily cases.
“What we have done has made a difference,” says Henry.”We must hold the line.”