Interior Health COVID-19 cases announced, spas, salons, ordered to closed

Grant Boone
March 24, 2020

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says 30 more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C., which now has 103 cases. That case is linked to an outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

Additional measures have also been brought in to protect people living in care homes, including prohibiting non-medical long-term care staff and volunteers from working in more than one facility.

British Columbia's provincial health officer is ordering all salons, spas, and tattoo parlours to close in the latest measure aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 cases now total 424 in B.C., which include 27 hospitalizations and 12 patients in the intensive care unit.

Every health region in British Columbia has people with COVID-19: 230 are in Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, 126 are in Fraser Health Authority, 37 are in Vancouver Island Health Authority, 27 are in Interior Health Authority and four are in Northern Heath Authority.

So far, over over 17,000 tests have been completed in B.C., and Henry said Saturday that several thousand people are being tested per day.

Henry said the province is exploring options for delivering public-health messages to young people who may feel they are not at risk of contracting the disease.

"I know how challenging it is", she said.

COVID-19: Premier orders shutdown of non-essential businesses
Ford also repeated pleas for everyone else to continue to practice social distancing: "If you can, please stay home", he said. Both the LCBO and the Beer Store have already reduced their hours in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Henry said she agrees with the sentiment those doctors have been expressing.

Bonnie Henry announced 77 new cases today.

Previously, she had ordered all bars, pubs and night clubs to close because they could not ensure patrons could maintain "social distancing" of at least one to two metres away from one another. "I want to be very clear that everybody needs to take these actions now".

Henry said that while most people affected in the province are older, there is also a cluster of affected people in their 30s and 40s, who are primarily health-care workers.

"Physical distancing is incredibly important right now for everybody".

"So when somebody gets sick, there will be some time before they recognize it, and that's one of the challenges that we've had with this disease", she explains, "That people may go to work and interact with others before they realize they're sick".

Now is the time to stay home as much as possible, and to keep a safe distance from others when outside.

"Young people like they are immune to this and if we look at our epidemiological curve, people are not immune and not only that, but then you bring it home to your family who might be healthcare workers, and the elders and seniors in your family".

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