B.C. reports 10 new COVID-19 cases, no new cases in care homes

British Columbia has recorded 10 new cases of COVID-19, along with two new deaths.

It brings the province’s case total to 2,517, about 82 per cent of which have recovered, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

B.C.’s death toll from COVID-19 now stands at 157.

As of Saturday, there were 39 people in hospital with COVID-19 and eight people in intensive care.

3:35Coronavirus around the world: May 23, 2020

Coronavirus around the world: May 23, 2020

Progress in long-term care

Both deaths reported Saturday were in long-term care in the Fraser Health region.

However, Henry said that there were no new outbreaks linked to residential or acute care, and no new cases involving residents.

Henry said keeping those new infections down relies, in part, on how well B.C. does at beating back the virus province-wide, noting that outbreaks can easily start when a health-care worker is inadvertently infected in the community.

“We have to be sure that we all do our part to keep the community transmission low so that we reduce the risk of it being introduced into any of our long term care homes,” she said.

“I’m just happy that most of them are coming under control now, but we’re not out of the woods with that yet.”

New outbreaks

Henry said a second case linked to an outbreak at a federal prison has been identified. The Correctional Service of Canada says one inmate at the Mountain Institution tested positive for the virus earlier this week.

Henry said Saturday that a staff member has now also tested positive. It was not immediately clear which facility the employee works at.

Fraser Health is actively investigating a new community outbreak reported at Nature’s Touch, an Abbotsford frozen fruit packing facility, that was reported on Friday, she added.

“This one was caught relatively early,” said Henry. “They’ll be continuing the investigation over the coming days.”

Five employees at the plant have tested positive for coronavirus, and the facility has closed voluntarily.

Henry said she has been generally pleased with the way the public has responded to Phase 2 of the province’s plan to reopen the economy, but that officials won’t truly know how well we are doing for another week or so.

“It has been a week where people have taken it slowly,” she said.

“But we need to remember, and these outbreaks remind us, gatherings of any kind increase the risk of transmission.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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