50 additional cases, new care home outbreak of COVID-19 in B.C.
Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
VANCOUVER -- Health officials in British Columbia announced 50 more cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the coronavirus Friday.
They also announced a new outbreak at a long-term care home in the Fraser Health Region: Dania Home in Burnaby.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the new cases and the new death in a written statement Friday afternoon. The person who died was a resident of the Vancouver Coastal Health region, the officials said.
"We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic," they said.
Included in the count of new cases are five that are epidemiologically linked. The remaining 45 are new positive tests for COVID-19.
There have now been a total of 3,641 confirmed cases and 195 deaths from COVID-19 in B.C.
There are currently 278 active cases in the province, including five people in hospital, two of whom are in intensive care.
The new outbreak at Dania Home brings the number of active outbreaks at long-term care and assisted living facilities in the province to two. One other such outbreak is ongoing at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver.
There is also one outbreak at a hospital acute care unit.
The statement from Henry and Dix did not indicate how many cases were associated with the Dania Home outbreak or how the virus was introduced to the facility.
A separate news release from Fraser Health said a staff member at the home had tested positive for the coronavirus and is now self-isolating.
Dix and Henry said there have been no new community outbreaks over the last 24 hours. Public health teams are still responding to ongoing outbreaks at a blueberry packing facility in the Fraser Valley and on Haida Gwaii.
The latter outbreak prompted the provincial government to announce Thursday that it would restrict non-resident travel to the archipelago.
Friday's update comes as British Columbians prepare for the B.C. Day long weekend, and Dix and Henry's statement included a focus on how to socialize safely.
“We can make this B.C. Day holiday weekend one where we find the right balance: having those important social connections with our friends and family, while taking precautions to protect ourselves and those around us," the officials said.
Those precautions include keeping groups small, using "layers of protection" and ensuring there is enough space for people to maintain physical distance from each other, Henry and Dix said.
The pair also directed B.C. residents to a "good times guide" on the provincial government website, calling the guide "our playbook for how to have fun and to keep each other safe and healthy."
Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,889 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Fraser Health region, 1,088 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 369 in Interior Health, 144 in Island Health and 88 in Northern Health.
There have also been 63 cases identified in B.C. involving people who reside outside of Canada.
A total of 3,168 people who have tested positive for the virus are now considered recovered.