Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives an update on the coronavirus pandemic as Health Minister Adrian Dix keeps the recommended distance to avoid transmission, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)

66 new B.C. cases of COVID-19, up to 725 positive tests so far

186 people have now recovered, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. has 66 additional positive tests for the new coronavirus COVID-19 in the 24 hours up to March 26, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Regional totals are 359 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 241 in Fraser Health, 52 in Island Health, 62 in Interior Health and 11 in Northern Health. Outbreaks in nine B.C. long-term care homes continue to be worked on, and there are no new deaths.

Of the 725 cases, 66 people are in hospital, 26 of them in intensive care, and 186 people have recovered and and been cleared by testing. That’s two additional hospitalizations since March 25.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the B.C. health care system has now cleared more than 3,900 beds, 371 of them critical care beds, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise daily in the province and across Canada.

“This will be a difficult time, one of the most difficult we’ve seen in this province,” Dix said, urging everyone to follow Henry’s public health directives to avoid gatherings and restrict outings to necessary trips only.

RELATED: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ in medical gear, supplies

RELATED: B.C.’s 2-1-1 line expands to link homebound seniors, volunteers

On the positive side, Dix said call handling at the 8-1-1 HealthLink line has greatly improved, with more than 5,000 calls handled in one day for the first time. The 8-1-1 line provides nurses and “case navigators” to help people determine if they have contracted COVID-19 and a variety of other health concerns.

“The average wait time was 5.3 minutes, which reflects both the extraordinary number of new staff and the commitment of those staff that we’ve seen at 8-1-1,” Dix said. “This is enormously helpful to people as they deal with both the anxiety around COVID-19 and the reality of feeling sick in B.C. at a difficult time.”


@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

UPDATE: Wildfire northeast of Clinton put out by BC Wildfire Service

Fire at 51 Mile Creek suspected to be lightning-caused

Barkerville keeping busy hosting tourists amid COVID-19 pandemic

The historic town opened July 3 with a number of safety measures in place

Fish studies continue on Quesnel Lake after mine breach

Aug. 4, 2020 will mark six years since Mt. Polley Mine breach

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Most Read