Published: Tue, March 24, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Restaurants ordered to close dine-in services as total case number climbs

Restaurants ordered to close dine-in services as total case number climbs

This week, Dix notes that the inquiry services for COVID-19 assessments have seen high usage rates.

Henry also responded to calls from some B.C. doctors to institute a full lockdown, like those implemented in Italy and New York City. The total number of cases on Vancouver Island now sits at 30.

"We have a cluster of a group of people in their 30s to 40s, and that mostly reflects healthcare workers who are involved in clusters and it also represents up to 20 people now that have been associated with a dental conference that happened a few weeks ago here in BC", Henry said.

She pointed out that about two dozen of them in B.C. have been affected by the novel coronavirus, but none of them had severe cases.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said as of March 21 there were 424 confirmed cases.

Ten people have now died from COVID-19 in B.C., nine of whom are linked to the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. Four of those cases are in the Northern Health region, meaning no new cases since the last update.

The health minister said 16 separate economic sectors are exempt from the governor's shelter-in-place order there, because they are considered necessary for the functioning of society.

But so far, information on exactly who was getting sick with COVID-19 has not been fully clear.

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"We know we're asking a lot of people, and we're expecting a lot of people", said Dix.

When asked about construction sites, Henry said some construction projects may be considered essential and are taking the appropriate measures.

Additionally, five more cases were admitted to hospital and the province now has 27 people in hospital, and of those, 12 are in intensive care. She said testing capacity continues to increase and the province continues to test thousands of cases.

Henry said Saturday that she was aware many personal service businesses and restaurants had already closed before she issued her orders saying they should close.

"This is not optional", she said.

Industries that have employees working outside are less risky as the virus isn't transmitted outdoors as easily, she said. "There are still some problems and still some concerns ... particularly with young people", she said, adding the province is considering using emergency text services to reach everyone in the province.

"From today, my order is that restaurants must more to a take-out or delivery model only, as a way to best protect us and ensure that we can maintain those distances", said Henry. "We know that they're safely cared for because of the dedication and the intense practice that we have in our health-care worker system".

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