British Columbia announced two new deaths and 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
The update comes on the 100th day since the province issued its first warning and statement about the novel coronavirus, as scope of the outbreak in China’s Wuhan province became clearer.
“Our lives, our businesses, our communities have dramatically changed in this last 100 days,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“Yet one thing really has stayed the same, and that is the unwavering commitment of everybody here in British Columbia to work together, and keep our firewall strong to do everything we can to protect our communities, our seniors and elders in particular, and our families across British Columbia.”
B.C. has now recorded 111 deaths and 2,112 cases — about 62 per cent of whom have fully recovered.
A dozen of B.C.’s new cases are linked to the Mission Institution, where 108 inmates and 12 correctional officers have tested positive.
There were also several new cases in the long-term care system, where 256 residents and 153 workers have now been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The number of people sick enough to be in hospital, however, continues to drop.
Eighty-two people were in hospital as of Thursday, and 30 of those were in intensive or critical care.
As of Thursday, B.C. had 4,100 available hospital beds, accounting for about 37 per cent of the system.
Long-term care home workers
Health Minister Adrian Dix provided an update on the public health order barring health-care staff from working in more than one facility during the pandemic.
Workers moving between long-term care and assisted-living facilities have been identified as one of the key factors behind outbreaks in three dozen seniors’ homes, accounting for more than half of B.C.’s COVID-19 deaths.
Of the more than 45,000 workers in the residential care system, Dix said, 7,350 had jobs in more than one facility, affecting 545 sites.
Since the order was issued on March 27, he said 276 of those facilities have implemented a single-site plan.
“That’s just over half of the employees,” said Dix.
“We expect more progress — significant progress — next week.”
Dix and Henry have said it’s been particularly challenging to enforce the ban in the Lower Mainland due to the number of workers and facilities.
Earlier Thursday, Canada’s national COVID-19 death toll topped 3,000 people.
The province is slated to reveal its plans to begin slowly reopening the economy and health-care system next week.