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New cases raise number of COVID-19 infections in B.C. to 1,203

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry notes three new deaths in province
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix speak with media at a daily press conference to discuss efforts to slow the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. | Government of British Columbia

British Columbia has 29 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 1,203, and three new deaths, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Saturday.

“The risk remains very high for us right now in B.C.,” Henry said. “This is our time when we need to keep our fire walls strong.”

The number of COVID-19 infections broken down by health region are:

• 554 in Vancouver Coastal Health;

• 424 in Fraser Health;

• 76 in Island Health;

• 128 in Interior Health; and

• 21 in Northern Health.

There are 704 people that the government considers to have fully recovered.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday there are 4,399 empty hospital (acute care) beds in the province. The province’s move to suspend what it considers “elective” or “non-essential” surgeries has helped hospitals reduce their cumulative occupancy rate for beds to 59 per cent, down from the usual occupancy rate of about 103 per cent.

Dix said 54.3 per cent of the province’s critical-care hospital beds are occupied. That low occupancy is intended to help the province have capacity if there is a surge in hospitalizations from the virus that causes severe pneumonia and has an estimated 15 per cent fatality rate in seniors.

Emergency room visit numbers are also down. On Thursday, B.C. hospitals counted 3,117 visits, which is down from 6,559 on March 10, Dix said.

Dix also revealed new data for cancelled “elective” surgeries B.C.-wide between March 17 and April 2: 11,276. Of those, 1,208 were hip or knee replacements.

This story originally appeared here.

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