B.C. health authorities have added a further 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province, totalling 2,087, with 169 in the Interior Health region.
Four more deaths related to the virus have been reported on Wednesday, all of which are from B.C.’s long-term care facilities. The total of reported deaths is at 109 as of April 29th.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer is reporting more recoveries as well; to date, 1,305 people are symptom-free, leaving 782 active cases.
Henry said that the testing strategies within B.C. will continue to change and evolving to meet what health authorities may need.
“Right now, testing is available to anyone in our communities that has symptoms of COVID-19, including very mild symptoms. It is also being used for identification and investigation of clusters,” said Henry. “We have had an approach of very broad testing in those types of environments to make sure that we catch everybody, even if they may have very mild or no symptoms at all. It’s very important for us to understand, however, that random testing of anybody in the community with no symptoms is of very little value to us.”
Henry said with current testing methods, random testing strategies may produce false positives or negatives and will not be as reliable as the strategy being used now.
Dr. Henry also gave an update on numbers associated with the Pacific Dental Conference that was held in early March, with 87 people confirmed to be infected, with more suspected outside of B.C.
In the daily briefing, the importance of monitoring those returning to B.C. was emphasized. Over 15,000 people’s self-isolation plans were assessed since the order to have approved plans was put in place on April 10th.
Henry spoke of more supports in place for temporary foreign workers coming into the province to assist the agricultural sector.
“Of the over 900 temporary foreign workers that have come in over the last few weeks, we have provided them with both medical support, social support and accommodation to be able to effectively quarantine those people,” said Henry. “Some of those people have finished their quarantine and are now going to our farms across the province to support our agriculture.”
Henry noted that four people have tested positive for COVID-19 of the 900 or so that have been brought into B.C., which Henry said highlights the need for effective supports for all people.