Second COVID-19 case reported in Interior Health region - InfoNews

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Second COVID-19 case reported in Interior Health region

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix provide an update on COVID-19 to the media.
Image Credit: Province of British Columbia
March 14, 2020 - 1:39 PM

There is now a second case of COVID-19 in the Interior Health region.

This is one of nine new cases reported in B.C., bringing the total to 74 provincewide. Seven are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and the other is in Fraser Health.

"The Interior Health case is related to travel in a number of places in Europe, most recently Portugal," Bonnie Henry, provincial medical health officer, said in a press conference.

Interior Health covers most of the Southern Interior, and Henry did not say where in the region this person is.

"From the outset, we have been proactive in our efforts. Our approach has been to get ahead of increasing risks and do all we can to break the chains of transmission, and we will continue to do so.

The province is adapting its testing strategy to respond to the situation here in B.C. to ensure all who get sick can get the testing they need.

Testing is available for all who need it, but not everyone requires a test. 

"Even if you have mild symptoms and you have no symptoms and you’ve returned (from travel), you don’t need testing," Henry said. "People with mild symptoms and returning travellers who are isolating at home don’t need to be tested unless you get sick enough to require health care."

In further preparation for the virus spreading, the province recently issued a call for recently retired doctors to return to work if the COVID-19 pandemic worsens.

Dr. Heidi Oetter, the registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia,  said the college has emailed hundreds of physicians who left the job within the last two years to re-register for their licences, adding those with experience working in emergency rooms and intensive care units would be most needed.

"The real critical work comes when people are desperately ill, in hospital settings and on ventilators," Oetter said.

"When I see doctors emailing me and saying, 'I'm standing by, I'll do it for free,' I think we'll get enough people," she said.

"My understanding is there are other provinces that are actually assembling their lists. They're doing their homework now and preparing in anticipation. I know that Alberta is making similar preparations as well."

 


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