B.C. confirms nine new COVID-19 cases on March 14 and announces testing centres to come

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      As the number of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia continues to rise, B.C.’s provincial health officer cautioned about people seeking unnecessary testing and B.C.’s health minister announced forthcoming testing centres to be launched across the province.

      Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced at a news conference in Vancouver today (March 14) that there are nine new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the total in the province to 73 cases. (Yesterday, the province had announced 11 new cases.)

      Seven of the cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, one is in the Fraser Health Region, and one is in the Interior Health Region.

      Five of the cases are linked to the Lynn Valley Care Centre, one case is linked to travel in Europe from Portugal, and the other three cases are under investigation.

      Dr. Henry provided updates about the outbreaks at facilities on the North Shore.

      She said that at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, there are 12 staff and four residents with the coronavirus. However, she added that there are others showing symptoms and that there may be more cases confirmed positive.

      At Hollyburn House in West Vancouver, there is one staff member and one resident with the virus (Dr. Henry said that previously there were two staff members reported as being there but she clarified that the other staff member is at another facility).

      At Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, there are three administrative individuals with the coronavirus.

      Dr. Henry emphasized that not everyone needs to be tested.

      She said that those with no or mild symptoms, or are isolating at home, do not need to be tested and that testing is only required if an individual requires healthcare. She said that they need to ensure that testing is available for those who do need it.

      “We are continuing to test those who are part of an active investigation or outbreak cluster, those with severe illness who are hospitalized, residents of longterm care facilities and health-care workers," she said.

      Dr. Henry also emphasized the importance of purchasing items in measured amounts and to avoid panic buying.

      "Our retail supply-chain providers have assured us they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly," she said. "There is no need to stockpile."

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix stated that there are testing centres being established in each health region and that these will be announced by the health authorities in those regions.

      For more information about COVID-19 in B.C., visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website. 

      Last night, the federal government announced a number of advisories and changes regarding travel. For more information on travel to and from Canada, visit the federal government's Travel Canada website.

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

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