The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health has increased to 12, as another death and 40 new cases were confirmed province-wide.
B.C. now has a total of 271 cases and eight deaths — seven of which are associated with the Lynn Valley Care Home in North Vancouver.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said the last few days have seen a “dramatic change” in how life is being lived in B.C.
“This is not optional. This is what’s going to protect us in the next few weeks. The importance cannot be minimized,” Henry said.
“This is not a normal time.”
Henry encouraged people to continue going outside, in small family groups, but to continue social distancing unless you are required to self-isolate.
“I think that is important for all of our mental and physical health,” she said. People who are expected to self-isolate should not go further than their yards, Henry noted.
Henry said although she was not banning professions like physiotherapists, doctors or dentists from operating, they should practice social distancing.
Older people especially, she said, should not be going to their providers.
While the province is not mandating that daycares shut down, Henry said most kids should be at home, along with their parents.
Henry said she understand this was a frightening time and a difficult time – especially for victims of domestic violence, who could now be stuck at home with their abusers.
Shelters, she said, are exempt from the ban on gatherings of 50 or more people.
The moves from grocery stores to restrict hours and the number of each item people can buy are “reasonable measures,” as is the “senior’s hour” a lot of shops have brought in.
However, “we’ve been assured… there is not a problem with the essential materials that we need,” Henry said.
The key, Health Minister Adrian Dix said, is not to hoard items.
“We need to buy what we need at a particular time,” he said
Henry said the 271 cases break down to, by health authority:
- 142 Vancouver Coastal Health
- 81 Fraser Health
- 22 Island Health
- 12 Interior Health
- 4 Northern Health
The province said its self-assessment tool has been used 1.15 million times since it launched earlier this week. The tool can be found at https://covid19.thrive.health.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: 45 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., bringing total to 231