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Taking temperature: April 28 COVID-19 update

There are 55 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 new deaths from the virus in BC today, bringing the total number of provincial cases to 2,053. Of those, 803 cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority region and 918 are in the Fraser Health Authority region.

There are 94 people with the virus in BC who are hospitalized, of whom 37 are in critical care.

In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry cited the community outbreaks at Superior Poultry and United Poultry plants as accounting for the majority of today’s new positive cases. Superior Poultry now has a total of 46 associated cases and United Poultry now has 34.

Two new inmates have tested positive at the federal correctional facility in Mission, bringing the total number of positive cases at the institution to 120.

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Henry once again reminded British Columbians to keep those most at risk during the pandemic in mind as social and economic restrictions change in coming weeks. She urged citizens to continue the personal actions that have been most effective in slowing the spread of the virus as restrictions are loosened.

These include regularly washing hands, avoiding touching the face and eyes, frequently cleaning high-touch surfaces, practicing safe social distancing and staying home and staying away from others when sick.

“These are the core tenets that will keep us in good stead, that will keep us safe moving forward, even as we increase our social connections and we increase our economic connections and we move forward in this pandemic together,” said Henry.

Afterwards, Minister of Health Adrian Dix provided an update on the status of personal protective equipment (PPE) in BC.

Since the start of the pandemic, the province has maintained some supply of PPE from its traditional vendors and has sought out new suppliers to successfully keep pace with the demand for PPE within the healthcare system. Since April 21, BC has received over 170,000 N95 respirators, over 350,000 face shields and goggles, over 100,000 surgical masks, over 185,000 gowns and almost 5 million pairs of gloves.

The province has not yet had to use any alternatives to N95 respirators in the healthcare system. This has allowed time to test all alternative products for filtration, fluid resistance, fit and overall effectiveness so that healthcare professionals can use these alternatives with the knowledge they will be kept protected and safe.

“For now, we need to continue to hold this line, and to continue to be kind to each other, to be calm and to stay safe,” said Henry.