B.C. announces 4 more deaths from COVID-19, plus 29 new cases
VANCOUVER -- Health officials have announced another four deaths from COVID-19 in British Columbia, plus 29 new test-positive cases.
Friday's update brings the province's death toll to 98, and the total number of cases confirmed through testing since late January to 1,853.
There have also been 22 more full recoveries, for a total of 1,114 so far. That leaves 641 active COVID-19 infections across the province, most of which have come from the Lower Mainland.
The number of hospitalizations, which officials have called the most accurate measure of the seriousness of the COVID-19 crisis, has also dropped to 96, marking the first time the number has fallen below 100 since March 29. Of those 96 patients, 41 are in intensive care, which is the lowest number since March 27.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who did not hold their usual COVID-19 briefing on Friday, also announced in a joint statement that two of the ongoing outbreaks and case clusters have worsened.
There are now 35 employees from United Poultry Ltd. In East Vancouver who have caught the novel coronavirus, up from 29 on Thursday, and 10 cases connected to workers who returned to B.C. from the Kearl Lake oilsands camp in Alberta.
Dix and Henry said public health teams are working to contain a number of community outbreaks, but that they "expect to see more cases in the coming days as contact tracing continues."
Fortunately, there have been no new outbreaks at long-term care homes, assisted living facilities or acute care units in the province.
The number of infected inmates and staff from Mission Institution, the federal prison in B.C.'s Fraser Valley that's experiencing the worst correctional outbreak in the country, also remains static at 78.
There are still only two cases linked to Superior Poultry in Coquitlam as well, though Dr. Henry has said she expects more cases to emerge in connection with the processing plant.