Eight people have now died from coronavirus in BC

Mar 19 2020, 10:15 pm

Another person has died in British Columbia due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in BC to eight, health officials announced on Thursday.

The death was at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver “where the outbreak is continuing,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

In addition to the death, Henry said 40 new cases have now been identified, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in BC to 271.

“A good number of our cases, particularly in Vancouver Coastal Health are related to the three long-term care facility outbreaks that we’ve been following over the last little while,” she added.

Those three long-term care facilities include Haro Park, Lynn Valley Care Centre, and Hollyburn long-term care facility.

Broken down by health authority,  Henry said 152 cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 81 are in the Fraser Health region, 22 are on Vancouver Island, 12 are in the Interior, and four are in the Northern Health region.

A total of 17 people are now currently in hospital as well, with nine of those in intensive care.

Both the City of Vancouver and the Province of BC  have also declared a state of emergency  in response to the pandemic.

Social distancing and connection

Henry also reiterated the importance of social distancing during Thursday’s press conference.

“We know that social distancing is an important line of defence for all us – staying a fingertip-to-fingertip distance away from each other, but no touching,” she said. “Equally important is maintaining our connections with friends, family and colleagues while many of us remain at home.”

Henry said she is also “encouraged” to hear of the “many innovative ways” people are maintaining connections while not physically in the the presence of one another:

“Virtual coffee dates on your phone or laptop, takeout windows at restaurants, spending time outside with our families, or even dropping off homemade baking or books for those self-isolating,” she said. “British Columbians are taking the challenge to heart.”

She also said there are still “many ways” people can connect with one another beyond just screen time

“As individuals, there are many things we can do to stay connected,” she said. “Getting outside in our many parks, walking your pet, or going for a bike ride are all safe.”

Of course, there is still important advice to follow when out and about.

“If you are picking up groceries, maintain space when lining up to pay,” she said. “If you need to take a taxi, sit in the back seat and wipe down the payment pad with alcohol-based wipes before and after paying.”

And as officials continue to work on stopping the transmission of COVID-19, “new resources are being made available every day,” said Henry.

With coronavirus on the rise, the BC Ministry of Health is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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