EDITORIAL

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on the coronavirus in the province, during a news conference in Vancouver, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

There are now 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Interior Health Region.

Speaking from Victoria, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed there are now 659 total cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia.

One person has died since yesterday's update.

Dr. Henry said 55 health care workers are known to be diagnosed with COVID-19, due to the cluster of outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

"We understand the absolute need to keep people safe," she said, adding there is continuous monitoring of personal protective equipment, which is now in a "critical phase."

"We are looking at alternative supplies," she added, saying not all orders placed in the past have arrived.

Dr. Henry touched on group gatherings, adding that even groups as small as two or three people can see the transfer of COVID-19.

"We know smaller is better," she said. "Having people over to your home, gathering together in the park - these are things that right now, we can't be doing. We need to connect virtually." 

Dr. Henry said while she didn't have exact numbers, many cases within the Interior Health region were travel-related, with some cases being spread within the community.