The novel coronavirus is continuing to spread through the province. Well over 100 new B.C. cases of COVID-19 were identified in the past two days. In just the last 24 hours, there were 78 new cases. However, people are recovering quickly and a new testing strategy seems promising to help slow the spread.
Throughout Sunday, March 23 and Monday, March 24, 143 new cases were confirmed in the province, said provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, in her daily update on Tuesday, March 25.
"We are seeing escalating numbers across British Columbia. We know that there is circulation and risk across the province right now," said Henry.
With that in mind, Henry further stressed that social distancing is needed and that nobody is immune to the virus.
"Physical distance is incredibly important right now for all of us," she said.
She also noted that 59 people were hospitalized, with 23 in intensive care.
However, there is good news too. There have been no new deaths, leaving the provincial total at 13 as of her last update, on Monday, March 23.
On top of this, there have been 73 new recoveries. This brings the total number of recoveries up to 173. That means 28% of all provincial victims of COVID-19 have now recovered.
Our health care workers are at the heart of our pandemic response. For them, for our seniors, and those who are mos… https://t.co/kqYDgK6Mt8— BC Government News (@BC Government News)1585005899.0
The province is also shifting their testing strategy. B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said that B.C. is running 3500 tests every day.
"We are absolutely testing and contract testing anybody for who we don’t know the source of their infection," said Henry. This is all part of an effort to break the chain and crack down on community cases.
So far, over 30,000 tests have been done in the province.
Are you experiencing #COVID19 symptoms like a cough, fever, sore throat or sneezing? Try this quick, new, online se… https://t.co/7sThlucP62— BCCDC (@BCCDC)1584463504.0
He also said that hospitals in B.C. now have 3,866 available beds and that only two in three are filled.
Earlier, he reported that the beds were filled to capacity, so this change comes from releasing people who no longer need to be hospitalized.
Watch live: today's update on BC's COVID-19 response from Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister @adriandix. https://t.co/6kHYW9h4tI— John Horgan (@John Horgan)1585087241.0
"The next few weeks will be very, very difficult," said Dix, noting that the worse is yet to come. He said the benefits of social distancing won't be seen for a few weeks.
"Defeating this virus demands that we stay physically apart from each other, but the battle that we need to wage to defeat the virus demands that we come closer together as a community," said Dix.
For more information, you can check out BCCDC's official website for all COVID-19 related updates.*
*This article has been updated.