29 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 3 more in Island Health

29 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 3 more in Island Health
Maggie MacPherson/CBC
A worker closes the gate to the Superior Poultry processing plant in Coquitlam, where health officials have announced a COVID-19 outbreak.

B.C. health officials say there are 29 new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, including three new cases in Island Health.

There are now 114 cases (both active and recovered) in Island Health. In Island Health, five people are in hospital and one person is in intensive care. Eighty one people have recovered and three deaths were previously reported.

There are also four additional COVID-19-related deaths in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health, bringing the B.C. death toll to 98.

“We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones,” B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said in a statement on April 24. Dix and Henry released Friday’s numbers in a joint statement to media.

The total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the province is now at 1,853, with 114 in Island Health, 772 in Fraser Health, 767 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 158 in Interior Health and 42 in Northern Health.  To date, 1,114 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered and no longer require isolation.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 96 people are hospitalized (down from 103 on April 23), and 41 of those are in intensive care.

There have been no new outbreaks in long-term care, assisted living or acute care in the last day. In total, 20 facilities and three acute-care units have active outbreaks, with outbreaks declared over at 10 care facilities.

However, as of Friday, two employees have been confirmed positive at Superior Poultry in Coquitlam, and 35 employees have now been confirmed positive at United Poultry in Vancouver.

Fraser Health has closed a poultry plant in Coquitlam.

The plant operated by Superior Poultry Processors is a sister facility to the United Poultry plant in Vancouver, which was shut down earlier this week.

Additionally, there are 10 confirmed positive cases connected to the Kearl Lake project in Alberta and 78 inmates and staff confirmed positive at the Mission Institution federal correctional centre.

“Public health teams are also providing support to a number of community outbreaks, and we expect to continue to see more cases in the coming days as contact tracing continues,” Henry and Dix said.

The province has also announced strict new measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 when thousands of tree planters head to remote communities to start work.

An order from the provincial health officer requires planters to be screened for the coronavirus before being admitted to field camps or community accommodations.

They must also receive training on how to safely travel to their worksites and limit trips outside work camps after they arrive.

Employers have been ordered to boost hygiene measures, add handwashing stations and appoint at least one infection control co-ordinator at each site.

And earlier Friday, Finance Minister Carole James said a new federal-provincial rent assistance program will help thousands of commercial property owners and tenants in B.C..

James says the program is expected to lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses hurt by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She says B.C.  small businesses will receive more than 300-million dollars in federal-provincial relief starting in mid-May, with the province contributing about 80-million.

James says the program is part of efforts to keep B.C. businesses and communities resilient throughout the pandemic.

For a breakdown of the B.C. COVID-19 numbers, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 dashboard. 

According to researchers with Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide is more than 2.7 million, with more than 195,000 deaths. 

With files from The Canadian Press


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