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Health Minister Adrian Dix has designated 19 hospitals around the province as primary COVID-19 facilities including six across the Interior Health Authority.

"We have designated 19 major hospitals across the province as primary COVID-19 facilities to deliver care to the most critically ill patients,” said Dix.

Interior Health region:
Kelowna General Hospital
Royal Inland Hospital
Vernon Jubilee Hospital
Penticton Regional Hospital
Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital
East Kootenay Regional Hospital

"To maximize capacity at these primary sites, we are also readying a number of off-site treatment centres, such as the Vancouver Convention Centre (with resources for approximately 270 beds) and the new tower at the Royal Columbian Hospital (with resources for approximately 80 beds), to be ready for providing less acute in-patient care. In the coming days, other health authorities will begin making similar preparations,” said Dix.

Minister Dix did not specify which locations have been selected in the Interior.

 

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Interior Health

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Interior Health is temporarily suspending pay parking for the public, staff, and physicians at its sites where pay parking exists, effective April 1 until further notice.

This step is intended to help support the public, as well as our dedicated staff and physicians, during this challenging time, and also reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission from the continued use of pay parking machines.

Interior Health pay parking machines require individuals to touch screens and buttons that may have been touched by someone previously. Discontinuing the use of pay parking machines reduces the risk of the potential spread of infection and also supports physical distancing measures that have been mandated by the Provincial Health Officer.

To ensure equitability for all staff and medical staff, whether they are working from home or at health authority sites, Interior Health is also temporarily suspending payroll deductions for parking fees.

 

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Update -

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are providing case updates for two 24-hour reporting periods: March 28 to 29, and March 29 through to midday today.

"In the first reporting period through March 28, we had 16 new cases, for a total of 900 cases in British Columbia.

"In the last 24 hours, we have had a further 70 new cases, for a total of 970 cases in British Columbia.

"This represents 86 new cases since we reported on Saturday.

"Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 472 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 323 are in the Fraser Health region, 67 are in the Island Health region, 94 are in the Interior Health region and 14 are in the Northern Health region.

"We are saddened to report two additional COVID-19 related deaths in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, resulting in a total of 19 COVID-19 related deaths in British Columbia. This includes the first death in the community as a result of COVID-19, as confirmed by the BC Coroners Service.

"There are now COVID-19 cases in 13 long-term care and assisted living homes in British Columbia. All are in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions. Public health officials are providing support to implement outbreak protocols at all sites.

"To date, 469 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer have isolation requirements.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 106 individuals are currently hospitalized, 60 of those in hospital are in intensive care and the remaining people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"We are at a critical juncture in our provincial COVID-19 response. We have two paths ahead: we will begin to see evidence of a flattened curve or our rates of infection will rise even more.

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Dr. Bonnie Henry has provided the latest figures of COVID-19 in BC.

(Previous numbers in brackets)

*48 hours of new cases*

N-ew Cases – 86

Total Cases – 970 (884)

Patients in Hospital – 106 (81)

Patients in ICU – 60 (52)

Recovered – 469 (396)

New Deaths – 2 *First community transmission-related death*

Totals Deaths – 19 (17)

Health region breakdown;

Vancouver Coastal – 472 (444)

Fraser – 323 (291)

Island – 67 (60)

Interior – 94 (77)

Northern – 14 (12)

Dr. Henry did not make any new public health orders.

More to come.

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WEATHER ALERT SNOW Coquiha

Snowfall warning in effect for:

  • Coquihalla Highway - Hope to Merritt

Heavy snow continues today.

Conditions are favourable for heavy snow to continue over the Coquihalla highway today. 5 to 10 cm of snow has been reported at some locations along the highway this morning. Total accumulations up to 25 cm can be expected by this evening.

Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.

Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions.

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COQUIHALLA

Beginning Monday, April 6, 2020, drivers can expect lane closures on Highway 5 to allow for repairs at Carolin Bridge, located approximately 25 kilometres north of Hope.

Crews are continuing the rehabilitation of the 30-year-old Carolin Bridge. Work involves repairing concrete, resurfacing the deck and restoring river protection. Lane closures will be in effect from April 6 through June 30, 2020.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. An additional counterflow lane will be in place over the Easter and Victoria Day long weekends from 8 a.m. Friday until 8 p.m. Sunday, with the extra lane for northbound traffic on Friday and Saturday and southbound on Sunday. To accommodate the long weekend counterflow, it is necessary to reduce the width of the travel lanes from five metres to 3.8 metres.

For the month of June, the additional counterflow lane will be in place on each Sunday for southbound traffic.

Drivers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes and, if possible, should plan to travel outside these peak times:

* Southbound: Fridays 2 - 4 p.m.; Sundays 2 - 6 p.m.; holiday Mondays noon - 6 p.m.

* Northbound: Fridays noon - 4 p.m., or 2 - 8 p.m. on long weekends.

 

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