At today's health briefing Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the total number of people who have tested positive to 2,541 since the pandemic began. Of those, 897 have been in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. The number of people in hospitals throughout B.C. sits at 37, including seven people in critical care, and 2,122 people are considered fully recovered. Dr. Henry also announced the outbreak at Richmond Hospital has been declared over. There are still 15 active outbreaks in long-term care, assisted living, and acute care throughout B.C. She also said she was grateful not to have to announce any new deaths today.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the occupancy rate is up to about 69% in B.C. hospitals across the board, and around 50% in critical care, and yesterday 5,234 people visited emergency rooms across the province, which is one of the higher totals since March, which is a good sign that British Columbians are getting the care they need.
Minister Dix also reported on the status of personal protective equipment (PPE). Since the beginning of April, we've obtained more than 4,000,000 N-95 respirators; approximately 4,500,000 surgical masks; over 1,250,000 pieces of eye protection, including goggles and face shields; approximately 27,000,000 pairs of gloves; and more than 1,500,000 gowns. He said as always, any product received that isn't from a previous trusted vendor will be subject to assessment and testing before it gets into the health system. This includes masks and respirators received from the federal government, and from donations as well.
Dr. Henry said there are a few more days left in the survey to gather feedback about residents' experiences of the past few weeks and help direct our responses going forward. More than 321,000 people have participated in Your Story, Our Future study, but there is a need for feedback from people in smaller communities and elderly people. The survey is intended to gather information about how COVID-19 has impacted health and well-being, and to help guide the response in the months to come. The BC COVID-19 survey: your story, our future is available online in English and simplified Chinese. At the end of the survey, participants are asked about their interest in taking part in two future initiatives: A serology survey (blood testing) to help determine immunity across the population, and planning for digital tools to help identify and manage COVID-19 infections.
Richmond is now home to 135 new long-term care spaces for seniors, as Hamilton Village Care Centre carefully welcomes its first few residents this month. First announced in 2016, the three-story, wood-frame residence on the Hamilton Lands in east Richmond is part of a larger 10-year rejuvenation strategy for long-term care across Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). The care centre was built and will be operated by Trellis Seniors Services Ltd., and all 135 beds will be publicly funded. The expansion of long-term care in Richmond is an important step in meeting the care needs of residents who can no longer live safely at home with support. In accordance with Public Health, and with infection prevention and control measures introduced throughout the province in March, residents have been moving in slowly, no more than two per day, to support safe transitions and admissions. The new residents are arriving from acute care, from other non-outbreak long-term care facilities, as well as those from the community who have significant safety risks at home. They are initially quarantined for 14 days and continually screened for symptoms of COVID-19.
Anyone in the VCH region with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, however mild, can now be assessed for and get a COVID-19 test. Contact your physician or nurse practitioner's office, or a local community collection centre to arrange for a test. Phone numbers and locations of collection centre can be found by visiting:
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing or by calling 8-1-1. In Vancouver, the City Centre and REACH urgent and primary care centres can provide testing as well as the St. Vincent's drive-up location at 4875 Heather Street. On the North Shore, testing is available at the North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre. If you think you need testing, please call ahead before visiting your doctor, urgent and primary care center or health clinic.
VCH Medical Health Officers, our provincial partners and the Public Health Agency of Canada continue to actively monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain social distance. For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.vch.ca/COVID19.
For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter
@CDCofBC or visit the website: http://www.bccdc.ca/.