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 deeply saddened to announce that a resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, a man in his 80s who was previously confirmed positive with COVID-19 (case 27), passed away. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones, and the staff who provided him care, during this difficult time.
“We are also announcing five new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 32 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions and were confirmed positive, based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing.
“Two of the new cases (case 28, 29) are close contacts of case 21, who is a health-care worker at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. Case 28 is a man in his teens and case 29 is a man in his 50s. Case 30 is a woman in her 40s and is also a health-care worker at the Lynn Valley Care Centre. They all live in the Fraser Valley health region.
“Public health teams continue to investigate the source of the outbreak at the care centre.
“Case 31 is a woman is her 50s who recently returned from travel in Iran. Case 32 is a man in his 30s who recently returned from travel to Italy. They both live in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
“As part of our COVID-19 response, public health teams undertake source tracing and notification of close contacts, in addition to risk assessments to determine appropriate action to protect British Columbians.
“Three COVID-19 patients are receiving care in hospital. All other individuals are stable and in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams. So far, four of B.C.’s 32 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 have fully recovered.
“Cruise ships continue to be high-risk environments for transmission. Today the federal government has recommended that Canadians avoid all cruise ship travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
“There has been a notable transmission of COVID-19 at group events – large and small. As a result, we recommend social distancing, forgoing usual greetings, consideration for virtual gatherings and, most importantly, staying away if you are experiencing any illness.
“Event organizers should ask all participants to stay away if they are sick, returning from affected areas or have underlying health conditions that may be impacted by respiratory illness. Organizers should also complete a risk assessment considering what is happening in the local community and who may attend the event. Guidance is available from the World Health Organization and the BC Centre for Disease Control, and local public health teams can assist with this assessment.
“The British Columbia Pandemic Provincial Coordination Plan details the preparations and comprehensive toolkit to respond to the evolving outbreak. This will be an ongoing resource for the province.”