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

Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet Snakes in BCHL simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Second million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Same thing happened on March 7; somebody won Guaranteed Match Number prize

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Okanagan garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain in Kelowna

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Most Read