BC declares public health emergency as coronavirus cases surge

Mar 17 2020, 3:28 pm

British Columbia has officially declared a provincial health emergency as the case of COVID-19 cases is on the rise.

On Tuesday, BC’s chief medical officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 83 new cases in BC, bringing the total up to 186. Henry adds that it is “likely to see these numbers increase” in the coming days.

“This declaration enables the provincial health officer to facilitate an even faster response to the rapidly changing situation and enact further measures to protect British Columbians, such as enforcement of orders limiting public gatherings of 50 people or more,” said Henry and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix, in a joint statement.

Henry also provided a breakdown of the number of cases per region, saying that there are 116 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 47 in the Fraser Health Region, 12 on Vancouver Island, seven in the Interior, and four in the Northern Region.

Of the 186 cases, only seven of them are in acute care in hospitals, the remainder are said to be recovering at home.

There have also been three new deaths as a result of the virus. Two of them were residents at the Lynn Valley Care Centre; one of them was a resident of the Fraser Health area.

Seven deaths have occurred in British Columbia as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an announcement made earlier today, Premier John Horgan announced all primary and secondary schools in the province would be closed until further notice and Finance Minister Carole James reassured British Columbians that the provincial government will receive financial assistance and support during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.