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B.C. declares public health emergency

Three additional deaths have been recorded in B.C. due to COVID-19.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed Tuesday afternoon two additional deaths at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. She also said a man in his 80s in the Fraser Health Authority has died from the novel coronavirus.

An additional 83 new cases have been identified bringing the number of confirmed cases in B.C. up to 186. Four cases have been identified in the Northern Health Authority and seven in the Interior Health Authority.

Henry has declared a state of public emergency.

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“Because many people are at home and they have mild symptoms, there’s been a lot of concern about whether they need to be tested for COVID-19 and we don’t think that most people do. What we need you to do when you’re sick is stay home and stay away from others until you’re feeling better,” Henry said. “We have a self-assessment tool now that’s at the BC CDC website and we know that close to half a million people have looked at it already so that’s great. That gives you some advice on what to do and some reassurance so you know when you’re looking at that what are the warning signs that you need to think about and who does need and who doesn’t need to be tested, and the fact that you can stay at home and recover from this.”

Henry advises elders and seniors to stay home and stay away from others and crowds.

Bars and clubs have been ordered to close. Henry said restaurants and cafes in some cases can meet the criteria for physical distancing but those who cannot need to close or move to take out or delivery services.

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