1 death, 42 new cases of COVID-19 in BC

All of those who have died from COVID-19 have been 70 or older.

"Particularly, when we look at our epidemic curve, we want to see that the onset of illness of people - the new cases starting - is going down, and we actually won't know that for a few days, so it's a hard position to be in".

They said: "Today, we are providing case updates for two 24-hour reporting periods: March 22 to 23, and March 23 through to this morning".

There are now 659 cases of COVID-19 in B.C., after provincial health officer Dr. Henry reported 42 new cases Wednesday.

Responding to questions about how the spread of COVID-19 in BC compares to other places like Italy, Henry said she believes BC is better situated than Italy at present, despite the province's relatively high case fatality rate. "It is gradually increasing though and we're watching that very carefully".

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.

That means testing health-care workers, people in long-term care and people who are in hospital or likely to be in hospital.

The provincial health officer reiterated Wednesday that she is developing a provincial health order to prohibit all workers at seniors' care homes from working for more than one such facility.

"We are absolutely testing and contact tracing anybody for whom we don't know the source of their infection", she said.

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. We have had a number of supplies on order for some time.

"We inform when there is a public health reason to inform people of a circumstance of a Care Home, of an institution of something that's a problem, then we have to get out and inform people and that's what we do".

Health Minister Adrian Dix said test capacity is now at about 3,500 per day via BCCDC and private laboratories such as LifeLabs.

Henry also reminded everyone about the importance of not gathering in large groups. In recent weeks, Henry has ordered restaurants to switch to take out and delivery only, closed personal service establishments such as salons, and banned gatherings of 50 or more people. That includes for celebrations and ceremonies, which Henry said are important to acknowledge, but should be acknowledged online rather than in person.

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