At today's briefing, B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said it's encouraging to see the overall rate of new cases in British Columbia levelling, but that we continue to see new outbreaks in the community and with vulnerable individuals. She provided case updates for two 24-hour reporting periods, with 26 new cases to April 5, and a further 37 new cases to today, for a total of 1,266 confirmed cases in British Columbia to date. Of those, 586 have been in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region. There are now 140 people in hospital in the province, with 72 being treated in critical care. The vast majority of people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in isolation; 783 people are now listed as fully recovered. Dr. Henry also announced one new long-term care facility outbreak in VCH, while three outbreaks at long-term care homes in our region have been declared over.
She also said there has been a community death of a known COVID-19 case in the VCH region, and as is the process for any sudden unexpected death that takes place in community, the BC Coroners Service is investigating. We offer our condolences to the friends and family of this individual, and to everyone who has lost loved ones.
Today, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit became available at Canada.ca or at 1-800-959-2041. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said during his briefing that more help is on the way for people who don't qualify for the benefit but are working with reduced hours, and for post-secondary students who usually rely upon summer jobs.
VCH Medical Health Officers, our provincial partners and the Public Health Agency of Canada continue to actively monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly urge anyone who has symptoms —including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing — to self-isolate for 10 days. To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain social distance. Testing is available for people with respiratory symptoms who are hospitalized or likely to be hospitalized, including pregnant women in their third trimester; health-care workers; residents of long-term care facilities; or part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak.
A self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Find it at covid19.thrive.health, or download a self-assessment app for their phones.
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/