COVID-19 in B.C.: Hospitalized cases continue to decrease, online applications open for worker emergency benefit

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      As B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix do not conduct news conference on Fridays for the daily B.C. COVID-19 update, they issued a news release with the latest numbers.

      Meanwhile, the B.C. government also announced a provincial benefit for British Columbians whose work has been affected by the pandemic.

      Daily update

      Today (May 1), B.C. confirmed 33 new cases for a cumulative provincial total of 2,145 cases.

      There have been 823 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 978 in Fraser Health, 121 in Island Health, 174 in Interior Health, and 49 in Northern Health.

      The number of people hospitalized has continued to decrease for several consecutive days this week, dropping from 82 individuals yesterday to 79 people today, with 24 patients in intensive care units.

      One new death, which took place in the Fraser Health region, brings the provincial total for fatalities to 112 individuals. 

      Once again, there haven’t been any new outbreaks at longterm care facilities. A total of 21 facilities and three acute-care units have active outbreaks.

      The number of cases linked to poultry processing plants have increased, with two more at Coquitlam’s Superior Poultry for a total of 52 employees confirmed positive and 35 cases at East Vancouver’s United Poultry. (According to the B.C. government news release, the number at United Poultry today is a correction from an error in yesterday’s report.)

      At the Mission Institution federal correctional facility, the number of cases has risen from 120 to 133 inmates and staff.

      Meanwhile, there are now 15 cases in B.C. connected to the Kearl Lake oil sands project in Alberta.

      A total of 1,357 people in B.C. have now recovered from the virus.

      B.C. emergency benefit for workers

      The provincial government announced today (May 1) that British Columbians whose ability to work has been impacted by the pandemic and are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) from the federal government can apply online for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers (BCEBW).

      The BCEBW is a one-time, tax-free $1,000 payment.

      To apply and find eligibility requirements, visit the BCEBW webpage.

      For those who need help applying or don’t have internet access, telephone agents will be available from Monday (May 4). General support is available at 778 309-4630 or toll-free within B.C. at 1 855 955-3545.

      To apply for CERB, visit the CERB federal webpage

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook

      For those concerned about visiting a doctor's office because of the pandemic, a telehealth provider can put them in contact with physicians and other health-care professionals.