By Lyonel Doherty
It may sound like a broken record, but B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix says they need 100 per cent commitment from the public (every day) to beat COVID-19.
“This will be a difficult time, as difficult as we’ve ever seen as a province,” he said in today’s news update.
In fact, Dix said if everyone does what he or she is asked, it could save someone they love.
“The distance between us unites us,” he said emphatically.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported there are 66 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., for a total of 725 positive cases, including 62 in the Interior Health region. (Yesterday, 42 new cases were reported, with a total of 695 in B.C., including 46 in Interior Health.)
Of the 725 cases, 66 people are hospitalized and 26 are in intensive care.
No new deaths (beyond the 14) have been reported today, and a total of 186 people have fully recovered from the virus.
Henry said there is an order that all health care sector workers are to remain at only one facility for the duration of the pandemic. She noted that movement among health care facilities exacerbates the movement of the coronavirus. But now there is a decreased risk with this new order.
Henry said she was also pleased to hear Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth’s provisions to protect essential goods in B.C. as they support the response to COVID-19.
She also mentioned the Government of Canada’s use of the Quarantine Act to enforce the quarantine of all travellers.
Henry said every day that we stay home and do what we are asked (staying apart from others), that brings us closer to managing the virus.
She strongly encouraged people to mingle and celebrate online, even have virtual birthdays with loved ones.
She too urged 100 per cent commitment, saying people need to stay away from each other and go out only when essential.
“We need to take care of each other right now.”
Dix said the province’s 811 health line answered 5,050 calls yesterday, with the average wait time being just over five minutes.
The minister acknowledged the challenge of maintaining an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in B.C. right now. He noted they are receiving small sources of supply and are seeking new ones every working hour.
Locally, in the South Okanagan, doctors and nurses are accepting donations of PPE through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The donations will be set up through this email as doctors do not want people dropping them off at local clinics.