Taking temperature: March 14 COVID-19 update

There were 9 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in BC today, bringing the provincial total to 73.

In order to bring you the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in BC, the Ubyssey science section has started a column called “Taking temperature.” It will provide short summaries of the daily press conferences from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix on the provincial status of the virus.

At today’s press conference, Henry touched on two main points: the province’s testing strategy and the issue of shortages of things like food and toilet paper.

There were 9 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in BC today, bringing the provincial total to 73. Seven of those new cases were in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

According to Henry, many of those new cases were related to the outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, where four residents and twelve staff have been confirmed to have the virus so far.

The province is also monitoring an outbreak at the Hollyburn House, where one resident and one staff member have tested positive for the virus.

Both Henry and Dix emphasized that people should not seek testing unless they have been referred to a testing centre by a health professional.

The province is currently focusing its testing on active investigations, cluster outbreaks, healthcare workers and people in hospitals and long-term care homes, Henry elaborated. People who have returned from international travel with mild symptoms do not need to seek testing unless their symptoms progress to the point where they require health care.

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Finally, Henry stressed that retailers have assured the province that supply chains for essential goods like food and toiletries are strong, while shortages on shelves are a reflection of temporary spikes in demand. In particular, she urged people to buy only what they need and not hoard products.

“I want to ask everybody in British Columbia to be measured in their purchase of groceries and other basic essentials,” Henry said.

Stay up to date on 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. For updates on UBC’s response to COVID-19, visit ubc.ca/campus-notifications/