Each day in Canada, a lot of news regarding COVID-19 comes out nationally and locally.
Now, we’re bringing you the top coronavirus headlines from Vancouver and across Canada all together in one place on a daily basis, to help you digest all the information and stay in the know with the biggest stories and developments.
Top COVID-19 stories for April 7 in Vancouver
Trudeau calls current physical distancing efforts the “new normal”
Early this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the current physical distancing efforts the “new normal,” as it is expected to continue for months with waves of the COVID-19 pandemic forecasted following the current first breakout. And “this will be the new normal until a vaccine is developed,” said the prime minister, adding that the vaccine may take up to a year or a year-and-a-half.
New cases, two more deaths announced in BC
Here in BC, health officials announced two more people have died from coronavirus, and 34 new cases have been identified in the province. During a press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the total number of known cases in the province has reached 1,370 and the total number of deaths now sits at 50. Broken down by health region, Henry said there are 626 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 508 in Fraser Health, 82 on Vancouver Island, 130 in Interior Health, and 24 in Northern Health.
BC investing $5M towards expansion of virtual mental health supports
The BC government is investing $5 million toward the expansion of existing mental health programs, as well as the launch of new services to support British Columbians, as the coronavirus pandemic continues. In a joint press conference with Judy Darcy, BC’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, BC Premier John Horgan said the government is working to provide more options for mental health support as people continue to self-isolate and stay home in the battle against COVID-19. The premier said enhanced virtual services will help all British Columbians with mental health needs arising from the pandemic, with a focus on adults, youth, and frontline healthcare workers.
BC health authorities expand coronavirus testing criteria
Any doctor in BC can now order a COVID-19 test for a patient based on their clinical judgement, according to an April 8 update to the province’s testing criteria. A situation update from Vancouver Coastal Health explains that the new guidelines reflect expanded testing capacity in the province. VCH recommends testing people in all of the following groups if they develop a fever plus a cough or shortness of breath:
- Healthcare workers, including pharmacists
- Residents of remote, isolated, or Indigenous communities
- People living in crowded settings, including work camps, prisons, shelters, group homes, assisted living, and seniors’ residences
- People who are homeless
- Essential workers, including first responders
- Returning travellers at the border
Looking for more information and further updates? You can view all the day’s headlines in real-time here.