COVID-19 update: B.C. announces 711 more cases, highest hospitalizations seen so far in the pandemic
Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
VANCOUVER -- In the final COVID-19 update of the week, B.C.'s health ministry announced another 711 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the province.
In a joint written statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix also announced 11 more deaths related to the disease, bringing the province's COVID-19 death toll to 492.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 9,050 active cases in B.C. Of those, 338 people were in hospital with 76 in critical care. That marked the highest number of hospitalizations the province has seen so far in the pandemic.
A total of 25,658 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the province, which is up 730 from Thursday. Across the province, 10,957 people are under active public health monitoring after being identified as a close contact of someone with the disease.
Regionally, most of the new cases – 427 of them – were recorded in Fraser Health. Another 143 were reported in Vancouver Coastal Health, 10 were in the Island Health region, 81 were in Interior Health and the final 50 were reported in the Northern Health region.
“We continue to face a significant surge in community transmission and new cases of COVID-19, which means following the provincial health officer’s (PHO) orders and using all our layers of protection is necessary for every person in our province right now," Dix and Henry said in their joint statement.
The update also revealed two new health-care facility outbreaks in the province: one at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge and another at Richmond Hospital, which Vancouver Coastal Health announced Thursday.
"The virus is not letting up and neither can we. This weekend, let’s stay small and stay local, so we can slow the spread of the virus in our province," the joint statement said.
"We can still be festive, we can still have fun, but let’s ensure it is only with our immediate household."
Dix and Henry will return for an in-person briefing on Monday, when updates to the temporary, sweeping orders put in place last month are expected. It's not yet known if they'll be extended or withdrawn.