B.C. now has 424 cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 10 fatalities.
Provincial health officials announced 74 new cases and one death during a Saturday news briefing, bringing the total number of cases by region to: 230 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 126 in Fraser Health, 37 in Vancouver Island Health, 27 in Interior Health and four in Northern Health.
The most recent death marks the ninth fatality linked to the Lynn Valley Care Centre outbreak.
Of those who have tested positive for the disease, 27 people are currently in hospital with 12 people in intensive care.
Six people have fully recovered.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters that the sharp increase in confirmed cases in recent days is due to the province working through a backlog of tests.
“It is not a reflection of when people got sick, it’s a reflection of when the test got reported,” she said, adding that once someone is swabbed they are isolating either at home or in hospital as the test is looked over in labs across the province.
The province has so far been focusing its testing strategy on the elderly, health care workers and those who have been linked to known clusters and outbreaks. Roughly 17,000 tests have been completed.
“If and when we flatten this curve we’ll be changing our testing strategy again,” she said.
Henry also announced her second provincial order in so many days, this time mandating that all personal service businesses, such as salons and massage parlours, close up shop until further notice.
Henry, along with Health Minister Adrian Dix, maintained their messaging for British Columbians to practice social distancing, self-isolation when necessary and hand hygiene.
“…In terms of making sure that we’re not gathering on the beach to watch the sunset, that we’re not playing basketball, that we’re not gathering together on the playgrounds and having playdates,” Henry said. “We need to do that now. … We need to do that online, not in person.”
Dix urged that people stay home if they feel sick.
“I know there’s some anxiety about the measures that have been taken, but they require 100 per cent compliance. Most of these measures are orders,” he said.
“It’s everyone’s obligation to comply.”