B.C. COVID-19 update - March 28

AM1150_Covid_19_Update

Health officials in British Columbia announced 92 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 Saturday. There has also been one new death from the pandemic in the province in the last 24 hours.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the new cases at her daily press briefing on Saturday afternoon. The new confirmed cases bring the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus in B.C. to 884.

Ninety-two new confirmed cases represents the largest single-day increase in B.C. so far, but Henry said that's not unexpected given where the province is in the course of the outbreak. She said larger numbers of positive tests reflect, in part, the targeted nature of testing.

Additionally, though the raw number of positive tests has increased, the percentage of new cases is still growing more slowly than the province's initial projections, which anticipated an increase of roughly 24 per cent per day without physical distancing measures put in place.

"We're not seeing the percentage increase climb dramatically," Henry said. "It's 92 over 884. It's a little over 10 per cent. Yesterday, it was about eight per cent. So, looking at the rate of change is something that we're also following. It's not unexpected, it just reminds us that we're in the midst of this right now, and everything that we do is really important to try and keep it at that lower rate."

Henry also announced an additional outbreak at a long-term care facility in the Lower Mainland, bringing the total number of outbreaks at seniors' care homes and similar facilities in the region to 12.

Some 45 per cent of people who have had the virus in B.C. are now considered recovered, Henry said. That equates to 396 people who tested positive and are now recovered.

British Columbia's recovery numbers are significantly higher than those seen in other provinces in Canada. On Saturday, Henry attributed this to two factors: First, that B.C. had earlier outbreaks than other provinces, with many of its early cases found in young, otherwise healthy people working in long-term care homes with outbreaks.