COVID-19: Novel coronavirus deaths surpass 1,000 in B.C. as coroners service deploys morgue truck on back-up basis

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      Canada's westernmost province reached a grim milestone.

      Today, B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced another 22 deaths from COVID-19 over the past three days.

      That lifts the total number of COVID-19 fatalities to 1,010.

      The three day total of new cases was 1,475.

      That included 538 new cases from January 8 to 9, 507 new cases from January 9 to 10, and another 430 new cases in the last 24 hours.

      "There are 5,220 active cases of COVID-19 in the province," Henry and Dix said in a statement. "There are 358 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 72 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation."

      Meanwhile, the B.C. Coroners Service has revealed that one refrigerated morgue truck is available on a back-up basis in the Fraser Health region in case it's necessary to deal with the high number of illicit-drug overdose and COVID-19 deaths.

      This truck has a capacity to hold 46 bodies in case there's no longer any room left in the morgues.

      Trucks like this have been deployed in California and New York to deal with the large number of deaths due to COVID-19.

      The largest number of new B.C. cases—736—was in the Fraser Health, where the temporary morgue service could be activated.

      Another 287 were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 217 in Interior Health, 173 in Northern Health, and 59 in Island Health.

      “We have had five new health-care facility outbreaks at long-term care facilities Guildford Seniors Village, Suncreek Village, KinVillage West Court, Hart House and independent-living residence Avalon Gardens," they said. "The outbreaks at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, Chartwell Langley Gardens, Lakeshore Care Centre, and Baillie House are over.

      “There has been a new community outbreak in the community of Canim Lake. The outbreak at LNG Canada diversified transportation in Kitimat is over."