B.C. government announces new supports for renters, landlords

Virus cases continue to grow in Interior Health region

In today's press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix discussed the province's testing strategy as well as its current health care capacity.

"Those are eight people who have had COVID-19 and have now recovered, which is very good news", said Dix.

"Additionally, of the total COVID-19 cases, 64 individuals are now hospitalized, 26 of those in hospital are in intensive care and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation".

"The burn rate is much more than we expected", said Henry.

Meanwhile, the province says there are almost 3,900 hospital beds available throughout B.C.to prepare for an influx of patients. The province is also banning evictions and rent increases until the crisis has passed.

"We must remind ourselves that the virus can spread with minimal symptoms and that is why physical distancing, especially staying away from people at higher risk, is so critically important at this time. So it's not as simple as saying, 'OK everybody, you just need to go to one facility only, ' because that would have left other facilities potentially with an extreme shortage", said Henry in her daily briefing Wednesday.

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.

Along with the outbreaks and deaths associated with the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, Little Mountain in the VCH region and Evergreen Heights in the Fraser Health region are also reporting outbreaks.

Thirteen people have died from COVID-19 in our province, 10 of which are tied to the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

That means testing health-care workers, people in long-term care and people who are in hospital or likely to be in hospital.

"One additional residential care home now has a confirmed case - a health-care worker at the Broadway Pentecostal Lodge in the Vancouver Coastal health region".

"We are absolutely testing and contact tracing anybody for whom we don't know the source of their infection", she said.

She said strong protective measures have been implemented at the homes and an order is coming to bar the practice of care home workers taking shifts in several different facilities.

She said health officials are considering stockpiling, reusing and searching globally for more protective equipment.

"We're at a bit of a critical phase with personal protective equipment", she said.



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