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Death toll from COVID-19 in B.C. rises to 13

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Mar 23, 2020 at 11:54 am PDT

FILE - Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry responds to questions during a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 6, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Summary

B.C. reports 48 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 472

All long-term care workers will now be screened when reporting for work every day

Efforts to conduct more are being ramped: Henry

(NEWS 1130) – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced three new deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday, increasing the total in B.C. to 13.

She also reported 48 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total in the province to 472.

Henry said 33 people remain hospitalized, with 14 of them in intensive care.

Henry also said 100 patients previously diagnosed have fully recovered, but six care homes now have cluster outbreaks.

While the province stopped short of ordering all people to stop going outside, Henry said all long-term care workers will now be screened when reporting for work every day.

Of the long-term care facilities affected by the novel coronavirus, the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver has been linked to the majority of deaths in B.C.

Of the new deaths, one more was at Lynn Valley. Another was at the Haro Park care home, while another was a community case in the Fraser Health region.

“We are very saddened, of course, by the passing of these people,” Henry said.

While the testing backlog in B.C. is nearly cleared up, Henry added efforts to conduct more are being ramped up. Testing will be focused on health workers and community clusters, she said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix praised health-care workers in the province, adding 22 nurses have volunteered to help at Lynn Valley.

With the three new deaths in B.C., the total in Canada was 23 as of Monday.

Dix also acknowledging the number of people over the weekend who appeared to disobey social distancing orders. However, he said essential services need to continue so people can survive, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and some social services.

Henry added her greatest concern remains making sure people stop having gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, because COVID-19 spreads fastest with close contact among people.