There are 53 new COVID19 cases in the province, bringing the total number of cases to 1,066 in BC.

There are 142 people who are hospitalized, including 67 in critical care, and there is another death in Fraser Health, bringing the death toll to 25.

There is a myth that if healthy people wear facemasks, they will be protected from COVID19 infection, but Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that isn’t proven and you need to keep taking other precautions.

“It (wearing a facemask) can help reduce the droplets that you release into the environment and if somebody is infected and has mild symptoms or early on in the illness, it can prevent you from putting those droplets out and that’s probably ok,” said Henry.

Henry added, “You can’t use it in isolation and think that it’s going to protect you and that you no longer need to do things like cleaning your hands regularly or maintaining physical distance.”

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has mentioned that our national healthcare system has the potential to be overrun if the pandemic leads to the number of cases the federal government is forecasting.

However, BC’s Health Minister Adrian Dix said we are in good shape and a lot of beds are available right now.

“We have 4,192 empty beds in acute care in British Columbia, that represents 61 per cent capacity in our acute-care system as it stands today,” said Dix.

“We’ve added capacity and, of course, there’s been a significant reduction in population in acute-care hospitals. Equally, about 55 and a half per cent of our critical care beds are occupied right now,” said Dix.

Some good news came out of press conference today, as 606 people have now recovered from COVID19 in the province, a rate of 56.8 per cent.

COVID19 Cases by Health Region:

Vancouver Coastal Health – 497
Fraser Health – 367
Interior Health – 114
Island Health – 72
Northern Health – 16