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New COVID-19 outbreak strikes a long-term care centre

Langley's Maple Hill long-term care centre has an outbreak with one resident
Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. once again has five seniors' homes that have active outbreaks of COVID-19, the government revealed June 16.

The new outbreak is at Langley's Maple Hill long-term care centre at Langley Memorial Hospital, where one resident is self-isolating at home.

Four other active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities include:
•Vancouver's Holy Family Hospital;
•Port Coquitlam's Nicola Lodge;
•Langley's Langley Lodge; and
•Abbotsford's Valhaven Home.

Dozens of other seniors' living facilities have had outbreaks that are now declared over. In total, 579 people have tested positive from outbreaks at seniors' living facilities, including 357 residents and 222 staff.

A new community outbreak has taken place at what B.C.'s provincial health officer, Bonnie Henry, called a "fast-food" restaurant. She broke from her habit of naming all businesses that have had infections by not naming the restaurant, and she explained that this was because "it's a small one."

Up to five employees were infected at that eatery, she said.

"I'm not aware that there were customers who were exposed in that situation," she said. "I do know that our public health team, inspectors, public health inspectors, or environmental health officers went in and did a full review of the plan and the infection control precautions that need to be in place in every setting."

She then stressed how important it is for businesses to have strict standards and a clear safety plan when they open. 

Small clusters of cases have formed active outbreaks in two office settings – Abbotsford's New World Technologies and Delta's Maersk Distribution Canada. There have been no new cases identified recently in those workplaces, and the outbreaks will not be declared over until they go 28 days, or two incubation periods, without recording a new case, Henry said. Those outbreaks were first announced on June 2

"They are, like the fast-food restaurant, like the large family gathering, and the church setting that we had a cluster of cases associated with as well – those are cautionary tales to us that this virus is unfortunately still out there," she said. 

Henry revealed that the BC Centre for Disease Control has identified 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, with one of those cases considered to be "epidemiologically linked," or a case that has not officially tested positive but is presumed to be positive.

That means that the province has had a total of 2,756 cases since the first infection was identified in January, with more than 87.6%, or 2,416 people, having recovered.

The breakdown of all COVID-19 infections by health region is:
• 940 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 1,426 in Fraser Health;
• 130 in Island Health;
• 195 in Interior Health; and
• 65 in Northern Health.

Of the 172 people currently fighting the virus, 11 are in hospital, with five of those people being in intensive care units. The others are self-isolating at home. 

There were no new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, leaving a total of 168 people who have died in B.C. from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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