The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in B.C. has dropped to 79, just a little over half the number recorded at the peak of the province’s epidemic, officials announced Friday.
The numbers in intensive care have dropped even more dramatically, falling to 24, according to a written statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Less than one month ago, there were 149 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 68 in intensive care.
Friday’s daily update also includes one more death from the disease, for a total of 112 to date. Thirty-three more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total so far to 2,145.
“Today is National Physicians Day, as well as the start of National Medical Laboratory Week. It is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the dedication and contributions of our physicians, our medical laboratory professionals and all our other health-care workers — the people whose responsibility it is to care for all of us,” Henry and Dix said in the statement.
“Let’s honour and protect them by doing all we can to continue to flatten the curve. When we are outside this weekend, think of them and always keep a safe physical distance from those around you. Be 100 per cent committed to keeping our firewall strong.”
A total of 1,357 people have now recovered from the virus.
Public health workers continue their efforts to contain a number of community outbreaks in long-term care homes, hospitals, poultry processing plants and a federal prison.
As of Friday, 133 inmates and staff at Mission Institution have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 52 employees of Superior Poultry Processing in Coquitlam who have confirmed cases of the virus, along with 35 people at United Poultry in Vancouver — a decrease in previously reported numbers for the plant, which the province says is the result of an earlier error.
There are active outbreaks in 21 long-term care facilities and three hospital acute care units. Meanwhile, 15 people have tested positive in connection to an outbreak at the Kearl Lake oilsands project in northern Alberta.
Friday marks the first day that the province is accepting applications for the Emergency Benefit for Workers, which provides a one-time, tax free payment of $1,000 to those whose work has been affected by COVID-19.
Minister of Finance Carole James says the province received more than 16,000 applications in the first hour.
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