VANCOUVER, BC: Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:
“We are announcing six new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 27 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions, and were confirmed positive based on testing by the BC Centre for Disease Control.
“Case 22 is a man is his 50s, who recently returned from travel in Iran. Case 25 is a woman in her 50s and a close household contact of case 22. Both individuals reside in the Fraser Health region.
“Cases 23 and 24 were passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship from Feb. 11 to 21. They are a man and woman, both in their 60s, and are receiving care in hospital in the Fraser Health region.
“Cases 26 and 27 are residents of a long-term care facility, the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. These cases were identified as part of an outbreak assessment at the facility in response to a staff member testing positive for COVID-19. The staff member is Case 21, a woman in her 50s, who has no recent travel history.
“All residents of this facility have now been screened and Vancouver Coastal teams are on site to support the families and continue to investigate in detail. Public health teams have notified facility staff and residents, and are meeting with their families.
“Case 13, a woman in her 80s, continues to receive care at Vancouver General Hospital. She is now in stable condition. All precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of other patients and health-care workers, while providing her with the care she needs.
“All other individuals with COVID-19 are stable and in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams. So far, four of B.C.’s 21 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 have fully recovered.
“There has been a notable transmission of COVID-19 at events, such as religious gatherings. As a result, we recommend social distancing and forgoing usual greetings. As an alternative, we recommend considering virtual online gatherings.
“Cruise ships continue to be a high-risk environment for transmission. As result, we recommend reconsidering any cruise-ship travel at this time.
“We continue widespread testing by screening British Columbians and travellers with symptoms, along with their close contacts, to identify cases of COVID-19 and take immediate action as we have seen today. As of March 6, 2020, 2,803 samples have been tested.
“The British Columbia Pandemic Provincial Co-ordination Plan details the preparations and comprehensive toolkit to respond to the evolving outbreak. This will be an ongoing resource for the province.