BC announces 12 new COVID-19 cases, death toll rises to 152

Dr. Bonnie Henry

Dr. Bonnie Henry

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.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have today (May 23) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia.

Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at the Mountain Institution and Mission Institution - both federal prisons in the Fraser Valley - at the Oppenheimer Group, facilities in the poultry sector and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.

There have been no new health-care outbreaks within the past 24 hours, while the outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital has been declared over. In addition, 60 percent of men have been hospitalized, and 64 percent of people who have needed critical care are male.

Henry said the new outbreak at the frozen fruit processing plant, like those observed in long-term care homes and correctional facilities, serve as a reminder of what could happen if large crowds began to gather once again.

There are 14 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care homes, and two ongoing outbreaks in acute care facilities.

There were bigger changes in case numbers within health regions because of a statistical change in the way cases are counted. There are now five people associated with that outbreak who have tested positive for COVID-19.

So far, 2,057 people have recovered from their illness, meaning there are only 303 active infections in the province.

"As we're opening up more settings, [outbreaks] tell us we need to be vigilant".

"As we continue to find new outbreaks in the community, this gives us a chance to pause and think", said Henry.

"We are finding our new balance between protecting our health and reopening numerous businesses and activities that are important to all of us", the statement by Henry and Dix said.

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

Dix and Henry also placed restrictions on the number vehicles allowed at drive-in movies, which appear poised for a comeback in Metro Vancouver due to social distancing regulations. "The risk is everywhere, and so we all need to take the actions to prevent transmission of the virus".

"That is going to be an absolutely critical if and when we open up our borders, particularly with the USA", she said.

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