Virus cases continue to grow in Interior Health region

Henrietta Brewer
March 26, 2020

"There are four people now in hospital at Interior Health just to put it in context of what we're dealing with".

Haro Park Centre has become one of the worst-hit long-term care centres infected with COVID-19, with a total of 55 confirmed cases by Wednesday, March 25.

Asked if she has an estimate in mind for how many cases there are in B.C. overall - including those that have not been confirmed through testing - Henry acknowledged that she does, but said it changes regularly and she's hesitant to share it without providing proper context.

British Columbia now has a total of 659 confirmed cases, with 64 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospital, including 26 in intensive care.

Since COVID-19 hit British Columbia, 14 people have died, while 64 remain in hospital. "We are still in the waiting and watching phase".

Lynn Valley is one of nine long-term care homes in the province where a person has tested positive.

Residents and workers at several long-term care facilities in the Lower Mainland have experienced COVID-19 infections, among them the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, the Haro Park Centre in downtown Vancouver, Delta View Care Centre in Delta and Broadway Pentecostal Lodge in Vancouver. Fifty-five of those people are health care workers.

Henry said the province was looking at alternative supplies from around the world and the province was implementing different strategies to deal with the situation.

The provincial health officer reiterated Wednesday that she is developing a provincial health order to prohibit all workers at seniors' care homes from working for more than one such facility.

Testing nevertheless remains marred by production and orders of test equipment, said Henry this week.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have also repeatedly urged British Columbians to maintain "social distancing" of one to two metres from each other.

"We inform when there is a public health reason to inform people of a circumstance of a Care Home, of an institution of something that's a problem, then we have to get out and inform people and that's what we do".

"While the emergency order is in place here in British Columbia, suspending current and future evictions until this crisis has passed", Horgan adds.

Henry also reminded everyone about the importance of not gathering in large groups. That includes for celebrations and ceremonies, which Henry said are important to acknowledge, but should be acknowledged online rather than in person.

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