The province recorded 44 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths, including the first death in the Interior Health Region.
The news came from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Wednesday (April 15), who said the Interior Health death was of a man in his 60s at home. Henry said the man in his 60s had gone to hospital for an “acute condition” shortly before his death. Henry said
That brings the total death toll in B.C. to 75, with 1,561 total test positive cases. Of those, 955 have recovered; a 61 per cent recovery rate for known cases.
“We are in this together, we are still in the midst of it,” Henry said.
“We are not at the point yet where we can let up.”
There are 131 patients in hospital, 59 of whom are in ICU.
Henry said that despite COVID-19 patients in hospital, it is still okay to call 911 or go to the hospital for non-coronavirus issues. She especially urged parents to continue to immunize their children on schedule.
“It is safe to go to the hospital,” she said. “It is safe to call 911. Do not hesitate to call for help if you need it.”
The provincial health officer said COVID-19 restrictions, when they do loosen, will have to go in stages. Even when they begin to lift, “normal is going to look quite different for some time” for British Columbians.
“We are not at the end of our beginning,” she noted. “We’ll need to keep safe distances between us for some time.”
Henry said she does “not foresee any changes” after the end of April. Premier John Horgan extended the province’s state of emergency for another two weeks earlier on Wednesday.
There are 21 longterm care facilities, which have been hit hard by COVID-19, with cases. A total of 265 people, both staff and patients, have tested positive for the virus in those facilities.
A nursery outbreak in West Kelowna is at 26 cases, the Okanagan Correctional Facility is at 1 and the Mission Institution is at 48 cases, with seven in hospital.
The total cases (change from last briefing), by health authority are: 670 (+12) in Vancouver Coastal Health, 623 (+22) in Fraser Health, 92 (+3) in Island Health, 146 (+5) in Interior Health and 30 (+2) in Northern Health.