Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives an update on the coronavirus pandemic as Health Minister Adrian Dix keeps the recommended distance to avoid transmission, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)

66 new B.C. cases of COVID-19, up to 725 positive tests so far

186 people have now recovered, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. has 66 additional positive tests for the new coronavirus COVID-19 in the 24 hours up to March 26, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Regional totals are 359 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 241 in Fraser Health, 52 in Island Health, 62 in Interior Health and 11 in Northern Health. Outbreaks in nine B.C. long-term care homes continue to be worked on, and there are no new deaths.

Of the 725 cases, 66 people are in hospital, 26 of them in intensive care, and 186 people have recovered and and been cleared by testing. That’s two additional hospitalizations since March 25.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the B.C. health care system has now cleared more than 3,900 beds, 371 of them critical care beds, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise daily in the province and across Canada.

“This will be a difficult time, one of the most difficult we’ve seen in this province,” Dix said, urging everyone to follow Henry’s public health directives to avoid gatherings and restrict outings to necessary trips only.

RELATED: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ in medical gear, supplies

RELATED: B.C.’s 2-1-1 line expands to link homebound seniors, volunteers

On the positive side, Dix said call handling at the 8-1-1 HealthLink line has greatly improved, with more than 5,000 calls handled in one day for the first time. The 8-1-1 line provides nurses and “case navigators” to help people determine if they have contracted COVID-19 and a variety of other health concerns.

“The average wait time was 5.3 minutes, which reflects both the extraordinary number of new staff and the commitment of those staff that we’ve seen at 8-1-1,” Dix said. “This is enormously helpful to people as they deal with both the anxiety around COVID-19 and the reality of feeling sick in B.C. at a difficult time.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Odds n’ Sods: COVID-19 from a traveller

Elaine Nyeholt’s column for the Haida Gwaii Observer

Several construction projects delayed on Haida Gwaii due to COVID-19

Construction crews sent home; new QC fire hall, two BC Housing projects delayed indefinitely

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read