Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

B.C. coronavirus cases jump by 83, public health emergency declared

Three more deaths recorded, two at North Vancouver care home

B.C.’s total number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 186 Tuesday, as 83 cases were added to the public health database and three more people died after contracting the novel coronavirus.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday she has declared a public health emergency as a result of the rising number of cases. Her first order with the new power was to order pubs and night clubs to close and restaurants to move to take-out service to reduce exposure.

The public health emergency declaration allows for provincial health officer to make verbal mandates, and Health Minister to amend regulations without consent from the B.C. Legislature.

Two of the deaths were at the North Vancouver where four other people have died since an outbreak began in B.C., and an 80-year-old man died in hospital in the Fraser Health region on Monday.

Of the 186 total cases identified by testing, 116 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 47 in Fraser Health, 12 in Vancouver Island Health, seven in Interior Health and four in Northern Health. Henry said three of the northern cases were tested while they were in Vancouver Coastal Health and have since gone to isolation at home.

“We’ve been actively trying to protect the north in many ways,” Henry said, because of the smaller, more remote communities there.

RELATED: B.C. orders bars, some restaurants to close

RELATED: B.C. daycares to remain open, for now

The number of cases has risen sharply as B.C. has opened assessment centres in each health region, and stepped up testing of people who are identified as having the key symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat.

Henry said the numbers have risen partly because of a catch-up in processing test results, particularly in Vancouver Coastal region where an urgent care centre has been doing tests to check on outbreaks such as the Lynn Valley Care Centre where most deaths have occurred.

The tests have ramped up to “thousands a day” and they were being confirmed by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control until additional medical labs were set up to work independently, Henry said. The backlog is “probably in the hundreds” as of Tuesday.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vernon Girls Trumpet Band holds street concert for self-isolating seniors

Residents of The Hamlets at Vernon were treated to a concert from a safe distance Saturday afternoon

North Okanagan district updates list of sandbagging stations

Severe weather over the weekend has communities bracing for potential flooding

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read