Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

B.C. coronavirus cases jump by 83, public health emergency declared

Three more deaths recorded, two at North Vancouver care home

B.C.’s total number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 186 Tuesday, as 83 cases were added to the public health database and three more people died after contracting the novel coronavirus.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday she has declared a public health emergency as a result of the rising number of cases. Her first order with the new power was to order pubs and night clubs to close and restaurants to move to take-out service to reduce exposure.

The public health emergency declaration allows for provincial health officer to make verbal mandates, and Health Minister to amend regulations without consent from the B.C. Legislature.

Two of the deaths were at the North Vancouver where four other people have died since an outbreak began in B.C., and an 80-year-old man died in hospital in the Fraser Health region on Monday.

Of the 186 total cases identified by testing, 116 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 47 in Fraser Health, 12 in Vancouver Island Health, seven in Interior Health and four in Northern Health. Henry said three of the northern cases were tested while they were in Vancouver Coastal Health and have since gone to isolation at home.

“We’ve been actively trying to protect the north in many ways,” Henry said, because of the smaller, more remote communities there.

RELATED: B.C. orders bars, some restaurants to close

RELATED: B.C. daycares to remain open, for now

The number of cases has risen sharply as B.C. has opened assessment centres in each health region, and stepped up testing of people who are identified as having the key symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat.

Henry said the numbers have risen partly because of a catch-up in processing test results, particularly in Vancouver Coastal region where an urgent care centre has been doing tests to check on outbreaks such as the Lynn Valley Care Centre where most deaths have occurred.

The tests have ramped up to “thousands a day” and they were being confirmed by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control until additional medical labs were set up to work independently, Henry said. The backlog is “probably in the hundreds” as of Tuesday.


@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

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read