29 new positive cases of COVID-19 were identified in B.C. on Saturday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said a total of 1,203 people have now tested positive including 128 people in the Interior Health region and 21 in Northern Health.

3 more people have also died bringing the death count in B.C due to COVID-19 up to 38.

Henry also announced an additional long-term care facility outbreak in the Fraser Health region.

“That leaves us with 23 outbreaks now in long-term care,” Henry said. “As I have mentioned this is an area of particular focus that we have been working on particularly in long-term homes in the Lower Mainland where we know we’ve had two very serious outbreaks that continue, and most of the rest of them we’ve been able to manage with just a single case being detected and full-outbreak responses has taken place. For most of these outbreaks catching it early has made a huge difference in protecting the people in that facility.”

149 people as of April 4 are hospitalized in B.C. with COVID-19 including 68 in intensive care.

Henry said a number of important research efforts are underway in B.C. to help support both our response now on the ground for COVID-19 and to ensure that we have the best possible information that contributes to the worldwide understanding of the disease and how it can be treated and managed and our connections to important research that is being done around the world.

A COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee has been established and is being led by BCCDC and UBC epidemiologist Dr. David Patrick. The committee will facilitate the ongoing research in B.C. that Henry said will contribute to our understanding and knowledge as well as the information that we get on a daily basis.

Henry said at least $2-million in funding has also been allocated to the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research that has been working since early January with the BCCDC on four specific areas including the transmission of COVID-19, the baseline of susceptibility, and development of a vaccine.

“There are at least 25 vaccine initiatives around the world and we are part of that,” Henry said. “One of the other really interesting things that we’re working on is understanding how the myriad of information that is out there on social media and on platforms and how that impacts people’s behaviors through this pandemic.”

704 people in British Columbia have made a full recovery from COVID-19.