What happened: B.C. on April 15 notched a higher number of new infections than it has since April 8 but the 44 cases recorded in the past day is still down from the number of new infections recorded daily in early April.
Why this matters: Flattening the curve, or keeping the number of new infections under control is a key way to limit the number of British Columbians in hospital, and to keep the death count down.
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry on April 15 released the new data showing 44 new infections and 1,561 total cases.
The breakdown by health region is:
• 670 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 623 in Fraser Health;
• 92 in Island Health;
• 146 in Interior Health; and
• 30 in Northern Health.
There were three new deaths in the past 24 hours, which brings the death toll to 79. One of the new cases was a man in his 60s who died in his home in Interior Health. This was the first death in that health region.
"He was mostly at home but had gone into the hospital with an acute condition just prior to his death," Henry said.
There are 131 people with COVID-19 currently in hospital, with 59 of those people in critical care. The number of people in hospital has been in the 128-149 range for weeks. There are 59 people in intensive care units, and that is also in a recent range.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C. has 4,632 vacant hospital beds, meaning that hospitals are at about 59% capacity. In intensive care units across the province there is an occupancy rate of only 46.3% – something that shows that the province is not letting up on ensuring that there are available beds in case the number of COVID-19-infected patients takes a sudden spike.
There are 955 people who have recovered.
Henry said that despite no recent spike in the number of cases or deaths, she does not believe that this will change her orders, such as banning gatherings of 50 or more people, or any other restrictions, in at least the next few weeks.
"We're not there yet," she said. "We need to hold the line."
The biggest area of concern for health officials remains seniors' care homes, where the most deaths have taken place.
As of yesterday, 47 of the 72 recorded deaths were related to workers or residents in these homes, which include long-term care centres and other living facilities. It was not immediately clear if any of the three new deaths reported today were connected to care homes. Henry said April 15 that there have been 265 cases related to the homes.
There are measures put in place to try to protect residents in the homes, such as one that orders all workers to only work at one home. Henry yesterday said that that order was not fully implemented because of complexities in doing that.
Henry on April 15 said that officials in the homes are trying to physically distance residents as much as possible, but that moving seniors out of their homes for protection is not an option.
"Most people who have this, even elderly people, have recovered," she said. "That's the positive thing."
The number of seniors' care homes in B.C. that have active outbreaks remains at 21. Four other seniors' homes had previously recorded cases but Henry now considers the outbreaks to be officially over.
The homes that have active outbreaks are:
• North Vancouver's Lynn Valley Care Centre;
• North Vancouver's Amica Edgemont Village;
• North Vancouver's Berkley Care Centre long-term care facility;
• West Vancouver's Hollyburn House;
• Vancouver's Haro Park Centre;
• Vancouver's Central City Lodge;
• Vancouver's Broadway Pentecostal Lodge long-term care facility;
• Vancouver's Windermere Care Centre long-term care facility;
• Vancouver's South Granville Park Lodge;
• Vancouver's Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility;
• Burnaby's Swedish Canadian Manor assisted living;
• Coquitlam's Dufferin Care Centre;
• Port Coquitlam's Shaughnessy Care Centre long-term care facility;
• Delta's Delta View long-term care facility;
• Surrey's Harrison at Elim Village long-term care facility;
• Langley's Langley Gardens long-term care facility;
• Langley's Langley Lodge long-term care facility;
• White Rock's Amica Retirement Home long-term care facility;
• White Rock's Evergreen Baptist Complex (includes assisted living and long-term care facility, and manor - seniors rental);
• Mission's Cedarbrook Chateau independent living; and
• Abbotsford's Cottage-Worthington Pavilion.
Homes where health officials consider the outbreaks to be over include:
• Vancouver's German Canadian House long-term care facility;
• Vancouver's Villa Cathay long-term care facility;
• Vancouver's Little Mountain long-term care facility; and
• West Vancouver's Inglewood Care Centre.