19 new cases, 2 new outbreaks of COVID-19 in B.C.
VANCOUVER -- Health officials have announced 19 new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, as well as two new outbreaks of the coronavirus at health-care facilities in the Fraser Valley.
One outbreak is at the Tabor Home long-term care facility in Abbotsford and the other is at Mission Memorial Hospital in Mission, according to a statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
The Tabor Home outbreak and another care home outbreak announced Tuesday at Maple Hill long-term care facility at Langley Memorial Hospital are both connected to the Mission Memorial outbreak, Dix and Henry said.
"These recent health-care outbreaks are very concerning and clearly demonstrate that COVID-19 remains in our communities," the officials said. "Mission Memorial is a small hospital, which means services for the local community are now limited to urgent and emergency care only."
There have been 2,775 cases of COVID-19 and 168 deaths in B.C. since the pandemic began, and there are currently 185 active cases of the virus in the province.
As of Wednesday, there are 11 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C., including five who are in intensive care.
Dix and Henry said public health teams are monitoring the new outbreaks "closely" and are "hopeful" that they were discovered early.
"We know that COVID-19 spreads quickly and can be transmitted to others even when someone is asymptomatic or has mild symptoms," the officials said in their statement. "One undetected case can quickly result in a surge in new cases."
The new outbreaks were announced on the same day B.C. Premier John Horgan said he is optimistic that the province will be able to move to Phase 3 of its reopening plan "sometime next week."
Moving to Phase 3 would entail increased travel within British Columbia, as well as the reopening of movie theatres and similar venues, with physical distancing requirements and the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people still in place.
In their statement, Henry and Dix noted the danger of increased travel, particularly for small and remote communities where health-care resources may be limited.
"As a result, we ask British Columbians to continue to take all measures to ensure you are safely increasing your social interactions, you are being respectful of communities you may be visiting when on the road and that you are always, without question, staying home and staying away from others if you are even mildly ill," Dix and Henry said.
On a more positive note, health officials announced that the "community outbreak" at Oppenheimer Group produce distributor has been declared over. Public health teams are currently responding to four ongoing community outbreaks, according to Henry and Dix.
The vast majority of COVID-19 cases in B.C. have been located in the Lower Mainland, with 1,438 detected in the Fraser Health region and 946 detected in the Vancouver Coastal Health region since the pandemic began.
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 196 cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health, 130 in Island Health and 65 in Northern Health.
Six more people who previously tested positive for the coronavirus have now recovered, bringing total recoveries in B.C. to 2,422.