Three more COVID-19-related deaths in Fraser Health region

A researcher worked in a lab at the BC Centre for Disease Control during the COVID-19 pandemic

A researcher worked in a lab at the BC Centre for Disease Control during the COVID-19 pandemic

Henry said that "several hundreds" of people are now working as contact tracers in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions, with fewer in the less populated regions.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced 18 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths Friday.

Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at the Oppenheimer Group, those in the poultry sector, at the federal correctional institution in Mission and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta. That number is down one from yesterday because an outbreak at the Windermere Care Centre long-term care facility has been declared over. Now 39 people are hospitalized, with 8 being treated in critical care or ICUs.

There are now 14 long-term care and assisted-living facilities in the province with active outbreaks of the virus, but Henry said she was "happy" to note that there had been no new positive tests among residents of such facilities in the last day.

"While Phase 2 is now underway, the provincial health officer order restricting mass gatherings to no more than 50 individuals remains in place".

Henry said that for the first time in a long while, no new residents of B.C.'s long-term care homes have tested positive.

British Columbia health officials announced 10 new cases of coronavirus Saturday, amid new outbreaks in the Fraser Health region at a fruit processing plant and a federal prison.

At the same time, however, the fact that new outbreaks continue to be detected in British Columbia, reminds residents that they must be vigilant in the measures they take to avoid spreading the virus.

"It's this sense that "it's those people over there that have a problem and I'm OK" that we need to be very careful about", Henry said.

Henry said that over 40,000 travellers who have come into B.C. from air or land; 125 people have also been provided accommodation for self-isolation when people come into the province.

"Our public health surveillance needs to continue and will continue to quickly identify new cases, and to find those they've been in contact with and prevent transmission to others", she said. To date, 157 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in B.C.

As the province "cautiously" moves toward its second phase of reopening with a gradual easing of restrictions, Henry warned that "we have to move carefully, and we have to move thoughtfully".

We are on the right track and must keep going.

The risks of COVID-19 are clear, and so are the steps we need to take to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our elders and our communities.

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