COVID-19 in B.C.: 145 more cases raise province's total to 617

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      While the good news is that COVID-19 patients in B.C. continue to recover and there weren’t any new deaths reported, two more longterm care homes now have confirmed cases and the number of cases in the province continues to escalate.

      Today (March 24), B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that after the last update made yesterday (March 23), there were 67 cases on March 23 with an additional 78 cases in the past 24 hour–period (or 145 cases in the past 48 hours), bringing the provincial total to 617.

      There are now 330 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 194 cases in the Fraser Health region, 44 on Vancouver Island, 41 in the Interior Health region, and nine in the Northern Health region.

      There are two new longterm care homes involved: the Little Mountain Place in Vancouver and Evergreen Heights in White Rock.

      Currently, there are 59 individual who have been hospitalized, with 23 who are in intensive care units.

      As there are no new deaths, the number remains at 13. Dr. Henry stated that the majority of the deaths are at North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre, where 10 residents have died.

      Dr. Henry confirmed media reports that a dentist at the Pacific Dental Conference held from March 5 to 7 had died.

      While she did not name him, CBC News identified him as Dr. Denis Vincent of North Vancouver, who was in his 60s.

      Vancouver Coastal Health had issued public notifications on March 12 (after the first COVID-19 case was identified linked to the conference) and 16 (after more cases were identified) that anyone who attended the conference should self-isolate until March 22.

      The number of recoveries continues to rise, now at a total of 173 recoveries (or 28 percent of the total cases).

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix stated that there are currently 3,866 available beds in hospitals, and that there is a 66-percent occupancy rate of beds due to measures taken, such as cancelling elective surgery and more.

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