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Four more COVID-19 deaths in B.C., provincial total rises to 43

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Apr 7, 2020 at 8:59 pm PDT

FILE - Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced 25 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, as the provincial total nears 1,300. (Courtesy Government of B.C.)
Summary

Three of deaths in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, while one came in Fraser Health

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced 25 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

The recovery rate in B.C. remains at 62 per cent

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The province announced four more deaths related to COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number in B.C. to 43.

Three of those were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, while one came in the Fraser Health area.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced 25 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and encouraged people to stay separated during upcoming holidays.

“We’ll be celebrating collectively around the world in ways we’ve never done before, in many cases,” she said.

The provincial total of COVID-19 cases is now nearly 1,300, while the recovery rate remains at 62 per cent.

Henry said 138 people remain hospitalized, with 66 in intensive care, both down some from the previous day.

She also said the number of long-term care and assisted-living facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks remains steady at 21.

Henry advised, with Passover, Easter and other religious holidays approaching — including Vaisakhi and Ramadan — people must still adhere to health and safety orders, specifically physical distancing.

“We can still celebrate and care for those around us in virtual ways. As a matter of fact, many more people, during this time, are finding ways to connect with people online through their religious faith, through the many different religious faiths,” she said.

The province has spoken to faith leaders, she added.

“The followers and congregations around the province here in British Columbia, please, now is our time that we need to pay special attention to our elders and seniors. Our elders hold our history, our language, and our traditions, and are a precious part of our communities around this province, and through these celebrations over the coming weeks, please keep that in mind so that we can maintain our safe distance to protect them.”

Henry also advised people not to travel, especially to smaller communities.

“Now is the time to stay home.”

She said group celebrations inside are also problematic, reminding people gatherings of 50 or more are prohibited. Even getting together in smaller groups, she advised to maintain safe distances and wash hands regularly.

Regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine, Henry said it is being tested at some long-term-care centres as part of an international effort to see if it works for prevention and treatment. But time is needed to assess whether it’s effective, she added, and not enough data has been gathered yet.

Health Minister Adrian Dix addressed the issue of ventilators and said B.C. now has up to 1,500 available and assigned throughout the entire health system.

He said he believes current stocks of equipment will be sufficient based on how the pandemic curve seems to be bending right now in this province.