B.C. surpasses 2,000 COVID-19 cases, as province announces 2 more deaths
VICTORIA -- The number of cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia surpassed 2,000 on Tuesday, as health officials announced 55 new cases of the novel coronavirus and two more deaths attributed to it.
The new numbers bring B.C.'s total COVID-19 cases to 2,053 and total deaths to 105.
Most of the province's coronavirus cases are in the Lower Mainland, where 913 people have tested positive for the virus in the Fraser Health region and 803 people have tested positive in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
Elsewhere in the province, there have been 168 confirmed cases in the Interior Health region, 118 in the Vancouver Island Health region and 42 in the province's north.
Many of Tuesday's new cases were discovered at a pair of poultry processing plants in Vancouver and Coquitlam, where there are currently 34 and 46 cases, respectively.
"We have to continue to be vigilant, especially in workplaces, to ensure that people are kept safe," B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday.
There also remains a worsening community outbreak at the federal Mission Institution prison, where provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 120 inmates and 12 staff have now tested positive for the virus.
Henry said that despite the ongoing community outbreaks, the province is still looking to ease restrictions on businesses and social gatherings starting in mid- to late-May.
"We've expanded our testing again as we've moved into this phase, to make sure we're picking up anybody who has respiratory symptoms, that might have COVID-19," Henry said.
"So it doesn't set us back, necessarily, but it is important for us. It's one of the indicators that we are watching very carefully that [tells us if] we're ready to get to that place where we can start lifting restrictions and having more contact."
There 94 people currently in hospital with COVID-19 in B.C., with 37 of them in critical or intensive care. There are 391 COVID-19 cases in B.C. long-term care facilities, with three of those cases in acute-care centres.
As of Tuesday, a total of 1,190 people are considered fully recovered from COVID-19.
Dix said that in the past week, B.C. has secured more than 170,000 N95 respirators, more than 350,000 pieces of eye protection, 100,000 surgical masks, 185,000 medical gowns and almost five million gloves for frontline health workers.