29 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.; 4 more deaths

HEALTH Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday announced 29 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 1,824 cases in British Columbia.

The breakup by health regions: 755 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 760 are in the Fraser Health region, 111 are in the Island Health region, 156 are in the Interior Health region and 42 are in the Northern Health region.

There were four new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions, for a total of 94 deaths in British Columbia.

There has been one new outbreak at Orchard Manor at Hawthorn Park in the Interior Health region. There are also two new acute-care outbreaks: one at Ridge Meadows Hospital in the Fraser Health region and one at Lions Gate Hospital in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. In total, 20 facilities and three acute-care units have active outbreaks, with outbreaks declared over at 10 care facilities.

Public health teams are also providing support to a number of community outbreaks.

A second poultry facility, Superior Poultry in Coquitlam, has two confirmed cases of COVID-19. Fraser Health public health teams are working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, who is responsible for this facility to manage the outbreak and support with active contact tracing.

In addition to the new cases at Superior Poultry, as of today, 29 employees have now been confirmed positive at the United Poultry Company in Vancouver, and 78 inmates and staff are confirmed positive at the Mission Institution federal correctional centre.

To date, 1,092 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 103 individuals are currently hospitalized, 44 of those are in intensive care and the remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Dix and Henry added: “A new public health order and guidance for agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and natural resources sectors are being provided to industry today to protect the safety of workers and communities as we manage through this pandemic.

“The challenge for all of us right now is to recognize that COVID-19 will be in our communities for many months to come.

“What this means, is that in order for us to get to a point where we can ease restrictions in B.C., we have to reach a manageable number of new cases: one that does not overwhelm our health-care system, so we can continue to provide the best care possible for all those who are ill.

“It is a careful balance, and as we have seen with the recent increase in community outbreaks, it is a balance that is difficult to find.

“A misstep in the wrong direction puts us all at risk. A playdate for your children, a gathering with friends, non-essential travel – any of these actions exponentially increase potential exposures to COVID-19 for ourselves and those we care for most.

“This is not forever. We will get through this hurricane in the safest, best way possible. But now is most certainly not the time to tip the scales against us. Rather, it is a time for patience and resilience, to demonstrate to each other that in the face of our pandemic, we are standing strong.”