26 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.; 2 more deaths

TWENTY-SIX new cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C. were announced on Saturday by Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer. There are now a total of 2,171 cases in the province.

There were two new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, for a total of 114 deaths in B.C.

Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19: 832 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 992 are in the Fraser Health region, 123 are in the Island Health region, 175 are in the Interior Health region and 49 are in the Northern Health region.

In the last day, there have been no new long-term care or assisted-living facility outbreaks. In total, 21 facilities and three acute-care units have active outbreaks, with outbreaks now declared over at 12 care facilities.

Public health teams are also providing support to a number of community outbreaks, actively contact tracing those who may be directly affected and their close contacts.

There is a new outbreak at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, with three confirmed cases to date. Fraser health is on site and investigating.

There are 52 employees confirmed positive at Superior Poultry in Coquitlam and 35 employees confirmed positive at United Poultry in Vancouver.

There are now 133 inmates and staff confirmed positive at the Mission Institution federal correctional centre, as well as 15 positive cases of COVID-19 connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.

To date, 1,376 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 72 individuals are currently hospitalized, 23 of those are in intensive care, and the remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Dix and Henry added: “The outbreak at the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta continues to impact us here in B.C. It is vitally important that anyone who has been at the site since March 24 follows the B.C. requirements when at home.

“This includes self-isolating on your return, your entire family being diligent about physical distancing, monitoring yourself and your family closely for symptoms and contacting heath-care providers or 811 for testing, as necessary.

“All of us must be extremely cautious to protect our loved ones and our communities when we are connected to any outbreak. It is far too easy to tip the scales against us and undo the hard work and sacrifice that we have made to flatten the curve, especially as we look to ease restrictions.”

They also pointed out: “We are all feeling the fatigue of maintaining safe physical distance – of not seeing friends and needing to make social connections in other ways. This is especially challenging for our youth.

“You may feel overwhelmed or anxious, but know that you are not alone. And know this is not forever, but for now. If you need help, contact the Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868.

“We also encourage you to stay healthy by getting outside and staying active, washing your hands regularly and asking your parents and teachers for help, if you need it, and to keep learning and stay connected with friends.

“To the graduating class of 2020, the traditional ceremonies and celebrations will be different this year, but take heart that teachers, adminstrators and parents are all working to to make this a memorable experience for you.

“You are and will always be a unique graduation class. Very few of us have ever known the experience of graduating during a global pandemic, and we commend the new and creative ways young people are finding to commemorate this important occasion in a safe and virtual way.

“We know parents are doing their best to support their kids and provide ongoing learning opportunities. Do what you can, with the assurance that we are all in this together and will make sure our kids, who are our future, are given the necessary tools and support to catch up from this necessary pause.

“School is different right now, but learning – whether in the classroom, at home or outside – doesn’t stop.

“This is also the start of Child Care Month. Let’s recognize our early childhood educators and child care professionals for continuing to provide the important foundation and care to our province’s youngest.”