Health officials announce new outbreaks, 5 more deaths from COVID-19 in B.C.
VANCOUVER -- There have been five more deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours in British Columbia, bringing the death toll in the province to 140, health officials announced Friday.
There have also been 15 additional cases of the coronavirus confirmed in the last day, bringing the total number of positive tests in B.C. since the pandemic began to 2,407.
There are currently 51 people in hospital with COVID-19 in B.C., including 12 who are in intensive care.
Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provided Friday's update in the form of a written news release, rather than a press conference. Henry will provide B.C.'s next COVID-19 update and take questions from reporters again at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Dix and Henry also announced two new outbreaks of the coronavirus in the province: one at an acute care unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, and one "community outbreak" at Oppenheimer Group, a fruit and vegetable processing plant in Coquitlam.
In total, there are 15 outbreaks with active cases in long-term care or assisted-living facilities in B.C., as well as five outbreaks with active cases in acute care units.
There have been two confirmed cases at the Oppenheimer Group plant, and contact tracing is underway to identify any other infections that may be associated with the outbreak. The plant remains open, health officials said.
Overall, there are currently 359 active cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, with 1,908 people who previously tested positive for the virus now considered recovered.
That said, the newly announced outbreaks indicate that British Columbians are still at risk of exposure to the virus, Dix and Henry said in their statement.
“We must continue to be measured and thoughtful with each step forward in our COVID-19 recovery," they said. "The new outbreaks demonstrate that there continues to be risk of COVID-19 in our communities. We want a strong start, and to do that we need to stay local, stay apart and stay 100 per cent committed to working together."
Most COVID-19 cases in B.C. have been located in the Lower Mainland, with 878 people testing positive for the coronavirus in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 1,164 testing positive in the Fraser Health region.
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 181 cases in Interior Health, 126 in Island Health and 58 in Northern Health.