As of Tuesday, B.C. has 617 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 13 deaths among them. There are also 173 people with the novel coronavirus who are now considered recovered and can be released from isolation.
Of the three additional deaths announced, one was a resident of North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre, one was a resident of Vancouver’s Haro Park Centre and the third was a resident in the Fraser Health region.
Of the 617 confirmed cases, 330 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 194 are in Fraser Health, 44 are on Vancouver Island, 41 are in Interior Health and nine are in Northern Health.
The numbers came in a scheduled daily briefing with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
As well, Henry said a total of 59 people remain hospitalized and 23 of those are in intensive-care units.
Henry said a sixth long-term care home has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic after a care worker at the German-Canadian Care Home in South Vancouver was tested positive as having COVID-19.
Prior to Tuesday’s update, five seniors’ homes or facilities had been affected: Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, Hollyburn House in West Vancouver, Haro Park Centre in Vancouver, Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam, and Delta View Care Centre in Delta.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C.’s recent move to cancel elective and scheduled surgeries has increased the number of beds available at B.C. hospitals in anticipation of “things about to come.’’
He said hospital bed capacity in B.C. regularly measures just above 100 per cent, but in the past week, the capacity dropped to 68.6 per cent, with 3,632 available beds.
“We are preparing for the circumstances that are before us,’’ Dix said. “We are preparing for the weeks that are to come.’’
Henry said she senses people in B.C. have grasped the necessity of following her recent orders to stay home if sick, self-isolate for 14 days if they recently travelled outside the country and to practise physical distancing from others when outside.
She said she never imagined in her 30 years in public health that she would close schools and order people to keep their distance from each other.
“We’re seeing people come to that recognition and there’s been a transition over this past week,’’ she said.
“Just reflect on the monumental changes that we have asked society to do.’’