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

VIDEO: Young Langley residents celebrate their birthdays with personalized parades

Growing trend amid COVID-19 closures is having decorated vehicles honk past homes

Thieves caught in the act at Aldergrove go-cart track

Three weeks ago, the Langley Quarter Midget Association decided to upgrade security after a theft

What can people still do outside during COVID-19?

A list of ideas that can still be done in order to get a little exercise and fresh air

A call for donations to fight COVID-19 in Langley and elsewhere

B.C. hasn’t run out of protective gear, but supplies are getting low

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read