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COVID-19: By the numbers (March 18)

The COVID-19 situation in British Columbia is continually evolving. The information below is current as of 3 p.m. on March 18, 2020. These updates will be issued daily for the remainder of the week.


* Total confirmed cases in B.C.: 231

* New cases since March 17, 2020: 45

* Hospitalized cases: 13

* Deaths: 7

* Recovered: 5

Confirmed cases by region

* Vancouver Coastal Health: 144

* Fraser Health: 58

* Island Health: 16

* Interior Health: 9

* Northern Health: 4


* At least 17,000 British Columbians have been tested.

* Testing is available for all who need it, but not everyone requires a test.
* If you have no symptoms, mild symptoms or you are a returning traveller self-isolating at home, you do not require a test.

* For each of these situations, the public health advice remains the same, regardless of test results: self-isolate for 14 days to monitor for the development of symptoms or until your symptoms are completely gone.

* Those who have severe illness, require hospitalization, are residents of long-term care facilities or are health-care workers will continue to be tested.
* Anyone part of an active investigation or outbreak cluster will be tested so they can be appropriately monitored.

* If symptoms appear, call your health-care provider or 811 for guidance.

Provincial advice and measures

* NEW: Provincial state of emergency has been declared:

* NEW: A new website has been launched for non-health related information and services:

* NEW: BC Ferries is reducing food and retail services to minimal levels on board ships and at our terminals effective March 18, 2020:

* NEW: Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, has reminded employers that they must excuse workers for sickness without requiring a doctor’s note.

* NEW: Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued an order providing criteria for exempting essential service workers from self-isolation protocols:

* NEW: There are no plans to close BC Liquor Stores. On the advice of the provincial health officer, cash transactions are acceptable during this pandemic.

* NEW: Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued a class order addressing mass gatherings:

* A public health emergency has been declared.

* The B.C. government is suspending K-12 learning in all classrooms. A decision on when and how to return will be made in partnership with school districts and independent schools.

* Businesses with liquor primary licenses (bars, pubs, night clubs, etc) are ordered to close.

* Restaurants and cafes that cannot maintain social distancing of one to two metres between patrons must move to take-out and delivery models.

* An online self-assessment tool to help to determine further assessment needs or testing related to COVID available online: (

* Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued the following order for travellers:

* The B.C. government will be making changes to the Employment Standards Act to protect workers and prevent layoffs.

* BC Ferries will allow customers to remain in their vehicles on the enclosed car deck.

* On March 16, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, announced new measures related to mass gatherings:

* Measures related to hospital operations, long-term care facilities, casinos and gatherings over 50 people have been announced:

* 1 888 COVID-19 has been launched to provide non-clinical information about COVID-19. This number is available seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., in over 110 languages.

* People can text 604 630-0300 for non-clinical support.
There is no need to stockpile. Be measured and show moderation when purchasing food and household goods. There is no shortage of goods in Canada.

Public Health Emergency

* Under a provincial health emergency, a provincial health officer among other emergency powers, may:
* do orally what must otherwise be done in writing;

* serve an order in any manner;

* act in a shorter or longer time period than is otherwise required; and

* compel any peace officer to enforce an order.


* Provincial health officer’s order for travellers:

* On March 17, 2020, the federal government announced new measures relating to travel, including:
* closure of the Canada-U.S. border to all non-essential traffic.

* On March 16, 2020, the federal government announced new measures relating to travel, including:
* banning entry of all foreign nationals by air travel from all countries;

* consolidating international inbound flights to four major hubs only, including Vancouver International Airport (YVR);

* preventing symptomatic passengers from boarding a plane to Canada;

* strengthening in-flight medical procedures and medical screening immediately upon landing, with enhanced cleaning and disinfection at airports;

* support for impacted Canadians abroad; and

* 14-day self-isolation for all arrivals except for essential work.

* Global Affairs Canada has set up an emergency loan program for people abroad attempting to return to Canada.

* Public health officials require anyone arriving in B.C. from a foreign country to self-isolate for 14 days, staying away from work or school. Guidance for self-isolation is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website:

* Cruise ship season is delayed until July 1, 2020 (vessels with more than 500 people).

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