Three more COVID-19 cases at West Kelowna nursery - InfoNews

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Three more COVID-19 cases at West Kelowna nursery

Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Government
April 14, 2020 - 3:52 PM

Three more people have tested positive for COVID-19 at West Kelowna’s Bylands Nursery, raising the total number of cases to 23.

Those three are among the 27 new cases provincewide, Dr. Bonnie Henry said today, April 14, during the daily press conference.

A total of 1,517 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

There are 141 cases in Interior Health, 89 cases on Vancouver Island, there are 658 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 601 in Fraser Health and 28 in Northern Health.

Three additional people have died, bringing the number of deaths in B.C. due to the virus to 72.

Henry said the three new deaths were all at long-term care facilities, which have seen a total of 289 cases — 165 residents and 124 staff.

Of all of those who have tested positive, 942 are considered to be fully recovered.

Another 134 people are in hospital, including 58 in intensive care or acute care units. Eleven of the hospitalizations are in Interior Health.

Dr. Henry said the hospitalization number is a good indicator of how many people are infected in the population and that it has been relatively steady over the last couple of weeks is heartening.

"Things we are doing in B.C. around social distancing, cleaning our hands, covering a cough and staying home and staying away from others is making a difference with the numbers we are seeing," she said.

While it's been a month since the COVID-19 changed life across the globe today, April 14, is also the four year anniversary of the declaration of the overdose crisis as a public health emergency in B.C. and Dr. Henry said that the focus has not been taken off that issue, despite the issues currently facing B.C. hospitals.

B.C. recorded 981 overdose drug deaths last year and Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, said progress has been made in that issue.

"Four years ago, the overdose crisis was declared a public health emergency. Although we have made important progress and many lives have been saved, there is still an incredible amount of work to do. With the COVID-19 pandemic adding unprecedented challenges, the urgency to protect people who use drugs is greater than ever before," Darcy said in a statement.

"While the number of overdose deaths declined from 2018 to 2019, there are still countless families reeling from the unfathomable grief of losing a loved one. Now, we are facing a global pandemic on top of a fentanyl-poisoning crisis. People are scared and they feel alone. That's why we are working as fast as possible, across government and with all partners, to ensure people living with addiction challenges are supported through both crises."

Together with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, Darcy's ministry recently announced new guidelines so that people can self-isolate to help keep communities safe from COVID-19 and to protect people from overdose, withdrawal or other harms. This guidance is the first of its kind in Canada and outlines how prescribers, patients and pharmacists can now work together to stay safe by delivering medication to patients, using virtual technology for consultations and witnessed injections, and giving patients longer carries of medications.

"We are providing emergency housing options so people experiencing homelessness and COVID-19 symptoms can self-isolate. We are expanding access to affordable counselling and virtual mental-health care programs. We are providing crisis supplements to people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors, and have halted evictions during this emergency and introduced a temporary rent supplement," Darcy said.

"The opposite of addiction is connection. Most people who die from an overdose die alone - too consumed with shame and blame to reach out for help. As we face the unprecedented challenge of dealing with two public-health emergencies, connection is now more important than ever - but, out of necessity, it looks a little different."

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