COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island increase to 92, testing strategies redeployed for early detection

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NANAIMO — British Columbia’s battle against COVID-19 continues to hold steady with the province flattening the curve.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer announced 44 new cases across the province including three more in the Island Health region.

The province also reported 955 people had fully recovered from the virus, while three people had passed away in the last 24 hours bringing the provincial total to 75.

Health minister Adrian Dix said in his remarks on Wednesday the number of hospitalizations on Vancouver Island had reduced. Earlier in the week, the province reported 10 patients in hospital with COVID-19, however that number was reduced to 9 during Wednesday’s briefing.

Dr. Henry spoke about testing strategies during her daily briefing with more focus being paid to community outbreaks and tracking transmission in rural and remote communities.

“Resources are being created to support communities around the province, provide them the resources they need,” Dr. Henry said. “We have been able to deploy testing to better support our more remote and Indigenous communities around the province and that’s something incredibly important for us to detect cases early.”

Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a return to normal daily life was still a long ways off, despite the encouraging trend of new cases diminishing.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam also said Wednesday the number of new cases is now doubling roughly every 10 days, compared to every three in mid-March.