The good news is from China, where the COVID-19 virus was first reported and the World Health Organization claims the disease has been stopped. While there were 21 new cases reported yesterday, all but one of these was returning travellers.
The Good News- China
“It is an epidemic that has been nipped as it was growing and stopped in its tracks. This is very clear from the data that we have, as well as the observations that we can see in society in general”, a senior World Health Organization official told the UN News.
This shows that the strategy of social distancing and containing the virus may work.
Spread In BC
At a 3 PM press conference this afternoon, Tuesday March 17, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said that the number of confirmed cases has now risen to 186 and 12 of them are in the Island Health region.
A media contact said it is against government policy to identify specific cities, but we know that COVID-19 has reached Campbell River and the Comox Valley Region.
Six people have now died at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, in North Vancouver, and another fatality occurred in the Fraser Valley.
Keep One Or Two Metres Apart
At the press conference today, Dr Henry stressed the need for people to keep one or two metres apart. That is two arms lengths part, finger tip to finger tip. Restaurants that cannot comply with this order are to move to take-out only, or shut down. All clubs and bars are to close.
BC Ferries will now allow customers to remain in their vehicles on the enclosed car deck during the COVID-19 situation, to help support social distancing and self- isolation. Of course, people in the Discovery Island area have been doing this for years!
The Cortes Health Centre advises people with cold-like symptoms that “unless you are a health care worker, you do not need to be swabbed for Covid-19. Stay home, and drink lots of fluids. If you have shortness of breath or are feeling extremely unwell, call ahead to the clinic, and we will make arrangements to see you.”
Three Cortes Island stores – the Gorge, Cortes Market and Cortes Co-op – are now offering grocery deliveries. Squirrel Cove Store is open for business.
Top photo Credit: COVID-19 epidemic in China by Gauthier DELECROIX – 郭天 via Flickr (CC BY SA< 2.0 License)