More than 600 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in BC

FILE- Dr. Henry said Tuesday the recorded number of coronavirus cases in B.C. is now 617

FILE- Dr. Henry said Tuesday the recorded number of coronavirus cases in B.C. is now 617

Another day brings dozens of more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia.

The 408 tests were taken between March 13 and 21, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told CBC News today that northerners face delays in their results because of the time it takes to get the tests to the lab.

Despite reported hiccups by doctors in B.C. on testing and triage, Henry suggested ahead of the curve on testing.

The good news that the number of recovered patients has increased by 10, bringing that number to 183.

As the incubation period of COVID-19 can be up to two weeks, many of those infected people would not yet be feeling ill, let alone have had coronavirus testing, Henry said.

"The 'burn rate, ' as we call it, is much higher than we would have expected", she said. "It is gradually increasing though and we're watching that very carefully". The death toll from the pandemic in now 14. The province is also banning evictions and rent increases until the crisis has passed. "There are four people now in hospital at Interior Health just to put it in context of what we're dealing with". "What I want to see is these numbers starting to come down over the next coming days".

She elaborated that after observing the impact of testing in other countries, provincial health authorities felt it was important to focus testing on cases transmitted in the community whose source is unknown.

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Henry also announced that another person who contracted the virus at the Lynn Valley Care Cenre in North Vancouver has died.

The health authority has said all hospitals, long-term care homes, and other health facilities are making plans to prepare.

Lynn Valley was the first of now nine care homes where the virus has been identified in B.C. On Wednesday, Henry announced the ninth outbreak: A case discovered in a health-care worker at Broadway Pentecostal Lodge in Vancouver.

He said those who are able to pay their full rent, should - adding that the fewer people who access the money, the more the government is able to expand the program in the future.

Henry said the province was looking at alternative supplies from around the world and the province was implementing different strategies to deal with the situation.

Henry said health officials have tested close to 30,000 people as of Tuesday, up from 17,912 tests March 20.

In a Facebook post, Meghan Desnoyer said there was a "critical shortage of personal protective equipment - masks, gowns, face shields, and sanitizers" and appealed for donations of such items.

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