Mon, Mar 23, 2020

“Our hospitals feel empty, they feel quiet, they feel as if they are anticipating something that is about to come.”
- Health Minister Adrian Dix, March 23 press conference

New CasesToday's Total CasesCumulative Total
BCTotal121522,916 (2,590 recovered)
ICU Patients4
ICU Patients274
On Ventilator044
Deaths (hospital/ICU)030
ICU Patients19
On Ventilator09
(within the last 24 hours)
Staff312 (3 recovered)
Please note: Numbers are updated at approximately 5 p.m. each day.
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Situation Update
  • There are 48 new cases in B.C. since Saturday’s report. Current total of COVID-19 cases is 472.

  • Breakdown across health authorities: 248 in VCH, 150 in Fraser Health, 39 on Vancouver Island, 30 in Interior Health, five in Northern Health.

  • 33 patients are currently hospitalized, 14 are in ICUs.

  • There have been an additional three deaths over the last two days: one at Lynn Valley Care Centre, one at Haro Park, and another was a community resident in Fraser Health.

  • Providence has five inpatients in total: one at MSJ, two on the SPH COVID-19 ward, two at SPH’s ICU.

  • There are now six long-term care facilities affected. The two new locations are German Canadian Care Home (VCH) and Delta View (FH).

  • 100 people have now recovered.

  • Minister Adrian Dix updated hospital readiness at the press conference this morning. In the pre-COVID period, our acute care capacity across the province at this time would be at 103.5 per cent, but as of yesterday, it is currently 68.43 per cent.

  • B.C.’s Premier and Finance Minister introduced the $5 billion COVID-19 Action Plan this afternoon. Full statement with funding details here. Highlights include:

    • A new B.C. Emergency Benefit will give a one-time, tax-free, $1,000 payment to people whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak. This includes workers who are sick or quarantined, and parents who need to stay at home while child-care centres and schools are closed.

    • The B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit in July 2020 will be increased and expanded. For example, eligible families of four will receive up to $564 in an enhanced payment.

    • Specific measures for rent relief will come on Wednesday. 

  • Vancouver will be imposing fines and penalties to enforce social distancing measures. This includes fines of up to $50,000 for businesses and $1000 for individuals who aren’t in compliance.

  • The federal government announced $192 million in new funding for acceleration of vaccine research and development, including funding for Vancouver-based biotech company AbCellera. AbCellera is at the forefront of developing antibody-based drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19.

  • Canada’s outbreak update from Health Canada is available here.

  • We are currently working on an enhanced staff screening process, which will be available at all Providence sites. More details to come tomorrow. 

  • Attention Staff and Medical Staff: Please use staff entrances only and NOT the Main Burrard Street Entrance to St. Paul’s Hospital.


Effective immediately, the Rapid Access Addictions Clinic (RAAC) at St. Paul’s Hospital will be moving to the HUB ED space. This is to help decrease traffic inside the hospital, and also to protect our clients from unnecessary visits to the hospital. As well, we want to do our part to encourage social distancing and protect staff and other patients in SPH from additional contact with others.

Temporary Staff Accommodation

Starting tomorrow, Providence staff, medical staff and contract services such as housekeeping who are working in active COVID patient care will be able to access temporary staff accommodation:

  • Overnight accommodation during your shift week.
  • Longer accommodation while you are in active COVID patient care. 

Those who do not provide patient care but are assigned to a key COVID response role, and may not have time to safely commute to and from work every day, may also access accommodation.

REMINDER: Don't Come to Work If You Have Symptoms

To ensure the safety of our patients, clients, residents and each other, please do not come to work if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If you have any symptoms (onset cough, fever, shortness of breath or other cold-like symptoms), please get tested immediately and self-isolate at home until you get your test results.

Providence staff and medical staff (including security, housekeeping, medical residents, medical students, contract providers and other support workers) who provide direct patient care can get tested at the satellite assessment site.

Staff Wellness & Support Update: Relax Rooms at the Burrard Hotel

Many of our staff have let us know that having somewhere to shower before going home or rest during a long shift would be helpful at this time. Effective immediately, Providence staff and medical staff can access a PHC Relax Room at The Burrard Hotel (1100 Burrard) located dirctly across from St. Paul’s Hospital.

Donations and Gifts in Kind

St. Paul’s Foundation (SPF) is reaching out to our donor community to help ensure the dedicated health care team at Providence Health Care (PHC) has the resources needed to provide the very best care possible at this time. Our COVID-19 Response Fund will support PHC’s patients, residents, researchers and care providers. We know your needs are evolving but rest assured that we will continue to support our frontline health care workers in every way we can.


We know that it can be challenging to follow the protocols about what to wear and where to change, especially in our older buildings. We appreciate your efforts to follow these guidelines.


For those of you who are still receiving pay cheques via Canada Post, we strongly encourage you to sign-up for direct deposit. 

PHCRI message to Providence Research Community

Dr. Darryl Knight, Vice-President, Research & Academic Affairs at Providence sent out this message to the research community today:

Dear colleagues,

What a couple weeks that have hit us. Unfortunately, by all accounts there will be several weeks more. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our decision to suspend non-essential research activities across PHC. You have likely seen that UBC, SFU, and all our research hospitals have now taken a similar and coordinated approach. Due to your efforts, this difficult process has gone as smoothly and quickly as could be expected. I know this curtailing of research will have significant impact to your research programs and graduate student progress and will affect the careers of your staff. It is the right decision and we will continue to work hard on ways to mitigate and support you through this in the coming weeks. I also want to say a huge thank you to a very dedicated team of staff behind the scenes: PHCRI managers, their office staff, and all the teams in PHC and PHCRI that have been working flat over the last week to assist during this rapid transition.

Read the rest of this important message here. 


We are getting many questions about the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during pregnancy. Until new information becomes available, pregnant employees can be accommodated in the same way as staff with underlying health conditions:

  • You can expect to be redeployed to avoid direct patient care or otherwise minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19; or

  • Work from home where possible. See here for more information. 


To alleviate some of the immense stress on our staff and medical staff who are engaged in PHC’s COVID-19 response, Providence has several support resources in place for staff to sustain us going forward. We’re grateful for your hard work in these challenging times, and we want to know that you are not alone.


CST Cerner remains the electronic health record for documentation of telehealth and virtual patient visits for CST Cerner live sites. If your clinic/clinical area normally registered and scheduled patients for ambulatory visits and documentation in CST Cerner, these functions extend to virtual encounters regardless of what telehealth/virtual platform you use. The  patient encounter should be scheduled in CST Cerner in order to document it into the electronic chart and to capture it for hospital reporting, charging, and statistical tracking.


We’d like to extend a large thank you to the team at Martini’s Restaurant. Yesterday, the owner delivered several (approx. 15) complimentary pizzas to the emergency staff at MSJ. The pizzas were then shared with other departments in the hospital. We extend a large thank you to the team at Martini’s for their wonderful generosity.

This page last updated Apr 9, 2020 3:53pm PDT