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COVID-19: By the numbers (March 26); orders; and where to find help

The COVID-19 situation in British Columbia is continually evolving and the information below is current as of 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Cases:

* Total confirmed cases in B.C.: 725

* New cases since March 25, 2020: 66

* Hospitalized cases: 66

* Intensive care: 26

* COVID-19 related deaths: 14

* Recovered: 186

Confirmed cases by region:

* Vancouver Coastal Health: 359

* Fraser Health: 241

* Island Health: 52

* Interior Health: 62

* Northern Health: 11

Testing:

* Testing capacity in British Columbia has increased to approximately 3,500 tests per day.

* 26,681 individuals tested as of March 23, 2020.

* Across Canada, there are more than 10,000 tests per day.

* 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 10 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, call 811 for guidance or check your symptoms online: https://covid19.thrive.health

Provincial advice and measures:

* NEW: Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, has made two orders for public and private health-sector employers and long-term care facilities. These orders ensure employees work at only one facility to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

* NEW: The Province has announced new clinical guidance for health-care providers to stem the spread of COVID-19 and respond to the ongoing overdose emergency: http://news.gov.bc.ca/21890

* NEW: Province takes unprecedented steps to support COVID-19 response: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0020-000568

* NEW: Province is providing the United Way of the Lower Mainland with $50 million to bolster seniors’ supports at community service agencies through the expansion of bc211: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0109-000570

* NEW: First Nations Emergency Program Act orders for COVID-19 response: https://news.gov.bc.ca/21886

* What you must do regarding COVID-19: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

* Province provides guidance to mining and smelting operations during COVID-19 pandemic: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0014-000560

* Province provides guidance B.C. manufactures during COVID-19 pandemic: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0014-000559

* BC Summer Games are cancelled, Maple Ridge to host in 2024: https://www.bcgames.org/News/Latest-News/News-Category-List/ArtMID/1035/ArticleID/1895/2020-BC-Summer-Games-cancelled-Maple-Ridge-to-Host-2024

* A complete list of travel in B.C. affected by COVID-19: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/traveller-information/travel-affected-by-covid-19

* Non-essential travel advisory from BC Ferries: https://www.bcferries.com/current_conditions/travel-advisory.html

* BC Parks moving to close certain parks, recreation areas: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020ENV0014-000553

* Along with being able to check symptoms online, British Columbians can now download a new self-assessment app: https://bc.thrive.health/

* In the last 24 hours 18,800 users have downloaded the self-assessment app.

* B.C.’s first steps to support people, businesses: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0013-000545

* List of provincial tax changes announced by government: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/tax-changes/covid-19-tax-changes

* Guidance to construction sites operating during COVID-19: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0002-000542

* Restaurants allowed to use servers to deliver liquor products: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AG0027-000541

* Henry has ordered personal service establishments, such as but not limited to: nail salons, tattoo parlours, barbershops, beauty parlours, health spas and massage parlours are ordered to close until further notice. These services require direct, personal contact with other people – and that is impossible to deliver while maintaining appropriate distancing.

* The B.C. government support and relief for the province’s most vulnerable and those living in BC Housing: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0013-000536

* The B.C. government is taking steps to support the child care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020CFD0041-000530

* Henry has ordered all restaurants must move to take-out or delivery model only or close.

* BC Liquor Stores clarifies working hours, extra steps taken during COVID-19 pandemic: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AG0025-000528

* Henry clarifies direction on physical distancing relating to going outside:
* It is safe to go outside to get fresh air, walk pets, ride a bike and exercise while maintaining safe physical distances.

* The B.C. government is waiving the MSP coverage wait period for people moving back to B.C. from COVID-19 impacted areas. In addition, the B.C. government is planning to provide health coverage to British Columbians who are out of province and unable to return: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents

* Long-term care facilities are to restrict visitors to essential visitors only.

* Rear door, free boarding on all BC Transit, Translink buses: https://www.bctransit.com/victoria/news?nid=1529708533639

* Resource for managing COVID-19 related stress, anxiety and depression: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health-safety/covid19_stressmanagement_5_accessible.pdf

* WorkSafeBC resources available for employers and workers: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/covid-19-updates

* Provincial state of emergency has been declared: https://news.gov.bc.ca/21826

* BC Ferries has reduced food and retail services to minimal levels on board ships and at ferry terminals, effective March 18, 2020: https://www.bcferries.com/about/media_room/newsreleases.html

* Henry has reminded employers that they must excuse workers for sickness without requiring a doctor’s note.

* All public universities and colleges have switched to online classes for the rest of the term.

* Henry has issued an order providing criteria for exempting essential service workers from self-isolation protocols: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics

* B.C. government has suspended 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.) ordered to close: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/reports-publications/covid-19-pho-order-nightclubs-food-drink-services.pdf

* Henry has issued the following order for travellers https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics

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

* On March 16, 2020, Henry announced new measures related to mass gatherings: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/reports-publications/covid-19-pho-class-order-mass-gatherings.pdf

* Measures related to hospital operations, long-term care facilities, casinos and gatherings over 50 people are here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0086-000499

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.

Travel/federal measures:

* NEW: Federal government’s new order makes self-isolation mandatory for individuals entering Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2020/03/new-order-makes-self-isolation-mandatory-for-individuals-entering-canada.html

* NEW: Federal government addressing urgent needs in Indigenous communities related to COVID-19: https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada/news/2020/03/addressing-urgent-needs-in-indigenous-communities-related-to-covid-19.html

* Federal government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html

* The federal government’s plan to mobilize science to fight COVID-19: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/23/canadas-plan-mobilize-science-fight-covid-19

* The federal government’s financial package for farmers and agri-food business: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/23/prime-minister-announces-support-farmers-and-agri-food-businesses

* On March 21, 2020, the federal government announced new measures to provide support for Canadians at home or abroad, as well as support for international students, seasonal agricultural workers and other temporary foreign workers: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/03/21/prime-minister-announces-efforts-bring-canadians-home-abroad

* Provincial health officer’s order for travellers: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics

* 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 going into effect Saturday, March 21, midnight: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-safety-canada/news/2020/03/us-canada-joint-initiative-temporary-restriction-of-travelers-crossing-the-us-canada-border-for-non-essential-purposes.html

* 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: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing-isolation

Resources:

* NEW: For seniors looking for additional support at this time, call 211: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0109-000570

* Help flatten the curve by checking symptoms online or downloading the app: https://covid19.thrive.health/

* If you or a family member have symptoms or need medical advice, call 811.

* Latest COVID-19 updates and statements: https://news.gov.bc.ca/Search?q=COVID-19

* Latest orders and directives from the provincial health officer can be found here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics

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