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

RCMP, firefighters rally in support for health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters Saturday night

Two people sent to hospital after Penticton Fire Department extinguish house fire

The fire was reported just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening on Duncan Avenue

Stay away from landfills, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen urges

Residents urged to use curbside collection services, stockpile recyclables during COVID-19 pandemic

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

WATCH: Penticton boy celebrates birthday, from a distance

Lucas Lemke celebrated his 11th birthday while practising social distancing

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

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

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

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

Most Read