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Four new COVID-19 cases announced in Northern Health, province now at 617

A total of 145 new cases were announced today (March 24)
Northern Health's new Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Prince George is located in the Parkwood Mall (via Kyle Balzer)

Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced there are four new cases in the Northern Health Authority. The total now sits at 9. 

B.C. now has 617 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 145 from Sunday night.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief medical health officer, revealed, however, on Tuesday afternoon (March 24) that there were no new deaths related to the virus.

In B.C., there has been 13 deaths from the virus. Of the reported cases, 173 have fully recovered.

Henry said 330 of the cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region; 194 in Fraser Health; 44 on the Island; 41 in the Interior and nine in Northern Health.

She revealed that eight long term care homes now have cases of the virus, up two from yesterday.

Forty-two of the cases are at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, where 10 residents have died from the virus.

The two new facilities affected are Little Mountain in Vancouver and Evergreen Heights in White Rock, where they each have one resident and one staff member confirmed as having COVID-19.

Henry said 59 of the current cases are being treated in hospital, 23 of which are in intensive care.

“The good news is that 173 (of the cases) have now fully recovered,” added Henry, noting the number represented 29 per cent of the total cases.

She added that, based on information from around the world, people who’ve recovered have immunity for at least few weeks and/or months.

In terms of the recent death of a dentist - who had attended a Vancouver dental conference earlier this month, where COVID-19 cases were identified – Henry said close contacts of the deceased are in self-isolation and the coroner has still to identify the cause of death.

Almost 30,000 people have been tested for the virus in the province, thus far.

“We will get through this. None of us need to get (the virus). That’s why we need to social distance,” said Henry.

“It’s important (to social distance). We don’t need to give (the virus) to our elderly relatives.”

In Canada, as of Tuesday afternoon, there has been 2,590 cases (499 new) and 25 deaths.

Globally, the virus has infected 417,663 people, killing 18,605. Almost 110,000 of the cases have fully recovered.

- with files from Alan Campbell, Richmond News