As of March 17 the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is over 183,000 globally, with approximately 80,000 recovered and over 7,100 deaths. The largest surges in cases continue to be in Europe with Italy, France, Germany and Spain being hardest hit. There are 161 countries reporting cases. The WHO has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.

In Canada, the numbers are rising, with over 440 confirmed cases, with 4 deaths in a nursing home in BC and 1 death in ON. The Public Health Agency of Canada still states that the overall risk of infection in Canada is low, but the entire nation needs to work together to “flatten the epidemic curve” (slow the rate of transmission so that at its peak, the case load will not overwhelm our health care system’s capacity).

The existing strong advice on the importance of hand and facial hygiene and “social distancing” still holds.

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