BC reports 10 new coronavirus cases and two new deaths

B.C. health officials to provide update on COVID-19 cases Friday

The provincial government later on May 21 clarified that the inmate has since been transferred to Agassiz's medium-security Mountain Institution, and that Fraser Health public health teams are investigating and assisting at both facilities.

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.

"Nine of the cases in Interior Health and one case in Island Health are people associated with the Kearl Lake outbreak in Alberta".

Dix and Henry said there have been no new outbreaks at health care facilities, and the outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital has been declared over.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 41 people are hospitalized, eight of whom are in intensive care.

"Again, it speaks to the challenges and the devastation that this virus can cause when it gets into our long-term care homes", she said.

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.

Two more people have died in the past 48 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 157. The health authority is also in touch with people who were in close contact with the people who have tested positive.

There are also two ongoing outbreaks at hospital acute-care units, as well as outbreaks at prisons, poultry plants and produce-processing facilities in the Fraser Valley.

There are 310 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,042 people who tested positive have recovered.

There is one new community outbreak with five confirmed cases at Nature's Touch, a frozen fruit processing plant in Abbotsford.

"Today, we have 18 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 2,507 cases in British Columbia". "They're a warning to us that as we're opening up more settings, we have to be vigilant".

"We need to remember, and these outbreaks remind us, gatherings of any kind increase the risk of transmission. This is our time when we need to be careful".

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". "Anybody who works with anybody who is marginalized or vulnerable, who may not have access to a computer or a telephone, please find ways to encourage and to assist these people, your clients, to take this survey as well", said Henry.

"Our individual circumstances are unique, but the actions we can take to protect each other and ourselves are the same".

We are on the right track and must keep going.

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