More COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in Northern B.C.

Kathy Brookes / Canadian Press

Several more cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in the Northern Health region.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the total is now 9 cases -- up from 5 as of Monday morning.

In all, B.C. had 145 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon, but no new deaths.

Henry said that brings the total cases in the province to 617 with most of them in the Lower Mainland.

59 people are being treated in hospital, including 23 people who are in intensive care.

 Henry says the good news is that 173 people or 28% have now fully recovered. But she says cases are escalating across the province, no community is immune, and social distancing is crucial to break chains of transmission. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix said this afternoon that more testing is being done now and Henry says the province is now focussing on testing people who have not travelled or been linked to a well-known outbreak to find out where the spread is coming from. 

Meanwhile, to prepare for more COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks, Dix says many hospital beds around the province have been freed up through the cancellation and postponement of elective surgeries and other measures. 

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