There are 29 new cases of COVID-19 and 3 new deaths from the virus in BC today, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 1,203. Currently, there are 149 people with the virus who are hospitalized and 68 of those people are in critical care.
To date, 704 people have completely recovered from the virus in the province.
In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry discussed some of the ongoing research efforts related to COVID-19 in BC and touched briefly on what British Columbians can expect in terms of the virus’s spread in the coming days.
Since late January, the province has had a research advisory committee, headed by Dr. David Patrick, a researcher associated with both UBC and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The purpose of the committee is to facilitate COVID-19-related research in the province. Projects currently underway include research related to modelling, understanding the baseline vulnerability to the virus in BC, assessing the influence of information about the virus on behaviour and providing support for a vaccine initiative.
“This is really an important part of our toolkit to help to help us get through this first wave of COVID-19 and to help ensure that we know what to do and how we can do it,” said Henry.
Research being supported by the province includes several UBC-related projects.
Also today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that while he did not approve of US President Donald Trump’s order that 3M stop producing masks for Canada and Latin America, retaliation would be imprudent. 3M has not yet complied with the order.
Providing an update on the new virus outbreak in the Okanagan Correctional Centre, Henry said that while she did not have the exact number of inmates in that facility who have been tested, there are no new confirmed cases since the outbreak was reported on Thursday.
When asked about the lower number of new cases today, Henry expressed cautious optimism — but warned that with the two new community outbreaks this week, travelers returning from overseas and long-term care centres still seeing outbreaks, the next week could be difficult.
“I don’t think I’m ready to say anything is a win yet, but every day that we have been bending that curve is a good thing,” she said.
Stay up to date on UBC information related to COVID-19 by visiting ubyssey.ca/covid-19, the websites of the BCCDC, the Public Health Agency of Canada or the World Health Organization. The province has set up a dedicated COVID-19 phone line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319. For updates on UBC’s response to COVID-19, visit ubc.ca/campus-notifications/