Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:
"We are announcing 66 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 725 cases in British Columbia.
"Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 359 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 241 are in the Fraser Health region, 52 are in the Vancouver Island Health region, 62 are in the Interior Health region and 11 are in the Northern Heath region.
"Nine long-term care homes in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Public health officials are providing support to implement outbreak protocols.
"Provincial health officer orders for public and private health sector employers and long-term care facilities were issued today. These orders ensure employees work at only one facility to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
"One hundred and eighty-six patients with COVID-19 have recovered and no longer have isolation requirements.
"Additionally, of the total COVID-19 cases, 66 individuals are currently hospitalized, 26 of those are in intensive care, and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
"The Province continues to take steps to protect and support British Columbians during this pandemic.
"In addition to providing immediate Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage to those moving back to B.C., MSP coverage will also be expanded to temporary foreign workers until July 31, 2020. This is an important step to keep these workers safe and keep goods moving.
"We have also provided clinical guidelines to support patients receiving withdrawal treatment that will assist them in self-isolating and help protect their community from COVID-19 transmission.
"We are encouraged by the Government of Canada's decision to put a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place for all travellers entering Canada, and we are reminding people in B.C. about the 14- and 10-day requirements we already have in place here.
"The March 17 provincial health officer order mandates that anyone in B.C. who has travelled anywhere outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
"Equally important, if you are presumed or confirmed positive for COVID-19, you are required to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
"Every day that we stay home and stay apart, while still staying connected to friends and loved ones, will bolster our COVID-19 response. You can connect with friends online, you can share stories about your day through photos and videos, and you can make a difference.
"We need everyone to be 100% committed now, next week and next month."
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community from COVID-19, and to use an online self-assessment tool, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/
The COVID-19 self-assessment app can be downloaded at: https://bc.thrive.health/
For non-medical questions about COVID-19, call 1-888-COVID-19 or visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
For a full listing of provincial health officer orders, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus