Health-care workers are given chocolates and cards from people at the 7 p.m. tribute to health-care workers at the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver Sunday, April 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

‘We see your grief’: B.C.’s total test positive cases top 1,500 as deaths rise to 72

Three new deaths were all in longterm care

The province is reporting three new deaths and 27 new cases, Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday (April 14).

That brings the total number of test positive cases to 1,517, while deaths are now at 72. Henry said 942 people have recovered, putting the province’s recovery rate at 62 per cent. Most of the new cases are in either Fraser Health or Vancouver Coastal Health, at 10 and eight, respectively.

Health Minister Adrian Dix acknowledged how difficult it was to grieve for people losing loved ones during this pandemic. The three new deaths were all in longterm care facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health.

“We see your grief,” Dix said.

READ MORE: As B.C. grapples with pandemic, top doctor marks grim anniversary of overdose crisis

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The number of people in hospital was at 134 Tuesday, with 58 in ICU. Henry said more modelling would be revealed Friday to give British Columbians a better sense of the real number of cases in the province.

“I do believe hospitalization is a much more stable number that tells us how many people are in that more severe group,” she said.

“Even if we didn’t know someone had COVID-19, if they have a severe enough illness that requires them to seek medical attention… we will be able to detect and find them.”

Henry said seniors in longterm care are offered hospitalization and the “full spectrum of care, if they want.” She said it was a challenging conversation for families, seniors and healthcare professionals.

“All lives are created and seen as equal,” Henry said, but noted that “for the most part, people [in longterm care] are not being transferred to hospital.”

B.C. has developed an ethical framework for how to handle potential equipment or bed shortages, which is scheduled to be released soon.

Dix said many people have made sacrifices during the fight against the virus, both economically and by delaying elective surgeries. Dix said 13,938 surgeries have been cancelled or postponed, although 8,221 non-elective surgeries have been performed in that time period.

Henry said B.C. scientists and medical specialists have been evaluating information and studies from around the world as they treat patients. While the concern across Canada has been the number of ventilators available, Henry said they don’t always work for all patients and that treatments are always changing based on what works for each patient.

The total cases, by health authority are: 658 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 601 in Fraser Health, 89 in Island Health, 141 in Interior Health and 28 in Northern Health.

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 case total up by 45 after Easter weekend

READ MORE: BC Housing says it won’t report illegal suites as 20,000 apply for rent supplement


@katslepian

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