Three more COVID-19-related deaths in Fraser Health region

Daniel Fowler
May 24, 2020

There have been no new health-care outbreaks, and the outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital has been declared over.

There are now 39 people receiving acute care in hospital.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have today (May 23) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia.

On Friday, 41 of those cases were in hospital, eight of them in intensive care.

Henry said that "several hundreds" of people are now working as contact tracers in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions, with fewer in the less populated regions.

The provincial count now stands at 2,507, with 310 active cases, and 2,042 people who have now fully recovered. In total there are 14 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care units have outbreaks.

Henry says while B.C. continues to find new outbreaks, it gives British Columbians a chance to reflect on how gatherings can increase the risk of transmission.

Included in Friday's numbers are 11 new confirmed cases in the Interior Health region, nine of which involve people associated with the Kearl Lake work camp outbreak in northern Alberta and who completed their self-isolation in Alberta and have since recovered.

No new resident cases have been reported in long-term care homes.

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She added restricting large gatherings has a two pronged benefit in the province's fight against COVID-19.

With that, Dr. Henry says it's crucial that people pay attention to the restrictions outlined for the second phase of B.C's ReStart plan.

"It's this sense that "it's those people over there that have a problem and I'm OK" that we need to be very careful about", Henry said.

Most of B.C.'s coronavirus cases are located in the Lower Mainland.

"Again it speaks to the challenges and the devastation that this virus can cause when it gets into our long term care homes, and it is one of the key reasons why we continue to have the control measures that we have in place both in the community, to prevent people who are working facilities, but also in the facilities themselves", Henry said.

Asked to assess how the reopening has been going so far, Henry praised the B.C. businesses that have reopened and the residents who have been using them.

Earlier this week, many businesses that had been closed due to the pandemic can "begin the process of safely reopening".

"That is going to be an absolutely critical if and when we open up our borders, particularly with the USA", she said.

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