Shortage of COVID-19 protective gear at hospitals, care homes

More than 600 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in BC

Most of those in hospital are older people or had underlying health issues.

She elaborated that after observing the impact of testing in other countries, provincial health authorities felt it was important to focus testing on cases transmitted in the community whose source is unknown.

Despite reported hiccups by doctors in B.C. on testing and triage, Henry suggested B.C.is ahead of the curve.

She also announced there are 42 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. today, taking the total number across the province to 659.

"The burn rate (of personal protective equipment) is much higher than we would have expected", Henry said, adding the situation was now in a "critical phase".

Responding to questions about how the spread of COVID-19 in BC compares to other places like Italy, Henry said she believes BC is better situated than Italy at present, despite the province's relatively high case fatality rate.

"We are still in the waiting and watching phase", Henry said.

Thirteen people have died from COVID-19 in our province, 10 of which are tied to the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

"One additional residential care home now has a confirmed case - a health-care worker at the Broadway Pentecostal Lodge in the Vancouver Coastal health region".

The health authority has said all hospitals, long-term care homes, and other health facilities are making plans to prepare.

Henry said she is also concerned by the dramatic increase in the use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves in hospitals over the past week due to the rise in hospitalizations.

On Wednesday, Henry said the outbreak at Haro Park Centre is worsening, with 28 residents and 27 staff members testing positive. Public health officials are providing staff support to implement outbreak protocols.

Testing nevertheless remains marred by production and orders of test equipment, said Henry this week. We have had a number of supplies on order for some time.

Health Minister Adrian Dix has previously said B.C. has adequate supplies of protective equipment, including respirators and ventilators for patients. "Some have arrived, thankfully, and we are actively looking at how we can get as much as we can in the short term". "And that is the large share of people".

Henry called on faith leaders, and all British Columbians, to stop gathering in groups, even small ones, if they don't live together. She discouraged everything from having visitors over to one's home, meeting friends in a park or attending a celebration or ceremony.

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