B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for their daily COVID-19 briefing at the B.C. legislature, April 3, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for their daily COVID-19 briefing at the B.C. legislature, April 3, 2020. (B.C. government)

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

Four more people have died due to COVID-19 in B.C., Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday (April 7).

The province has recorded 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, Henry said – none in Interior Health, Island Health and Northern Health. Three of the new deaths were in Vancouver Coastal Health and one was in Fraser Health. This brings B.C’s total fatalities to 43, one of whom was a health care worker.

Henry said that all active cases, of which there are currently 443 in B.C., are followed up with daily if they are well enough to self-isolate at home.

There are currently 138 people in hospital and 66 in ICU. There are currently 4,549 empty hospital beds in B.C., with overall capacity at 58.1 per cent and 50.9 in critical care or ICU beds.

Henry said 805 people have recovered out of a total 1,291 case, for a rate of 62 per cent. B.C. has 21 care facilities with outbreaks, with 132 cases among residents and 81 among staff. Health Minister Adrian Dix said 56 doctors and 880 nurses and care aides have come back out of retirement.

The path to ‘normal’ life?

Henry said that despite a flattening curve, it will be a long road to normalcy for B.C. Health officials have been monitoring several factors, which she said will be shared next week.

It’s important, Henry noted, to not reopen anything too quickly, citing places like Wuhan and Singapore that have to increase previously-lifted restrictions.

“We’re in for a bit of a ride,” she said, noting the situation will not go back to normal until there is either a vaccine or until enough people have immunity to the virus.

The latter is something B.C’s health officials “absolutely don’t want to happen all at once, because that means the number of people getting sick [would be very high] and overwhelming of our health care system.”

There is good news ahead, however, for the summer months.

“We will have a period of time where this, hopefully, will wane… and we will be allowing us to go back to some of the activities that we’ve been doing,” Henry said.

“But then we need to monitor very carefully and if we start to see transmission in the community again, particularly as we go into the fall, we’ll need to look at what are the measures that are the most important.”

But with the holiday long weekend coming up, Dix issued a warning: “Let’s bend the curve, not bend the rules.”

The cases, by health authority: 603 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 458 in Fraser Health, 79 in Island Health, 128 in Interior Health and 23 in Northern Health.

READ MORE: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

READ MORE: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

READ MORE: Recovery rate tops 60% but B.C. records death of man in his 40s due to COVID-19


@katslepian

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