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Three new deaths recorded in New West's worst COVID-19 outbreak

BCCDC has recorded 133 cases since Jan. 3 at this New West site
COVID-19 swab in lab Photo: Getty Images

The worst COVID-19 outbreak in New Westminster has led to three more deaths since the last reporting period.

The long-term care unit at Royal City Manor has had a coronavirus outbreak since Jan. 3, and it has reached at least 133 cases, according to the last update on March 4 by the BC Centre for Disease Control. But since the Feb. 25 update, the death toll has risen from 28 to 31 deaths, despite the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine.

BCCDC data show New Westminster had a total of 71 new coronavirus cases between Feb. 21 and 27 – the same number as Feb.14 and 20. Both weeks were up sharply from the 46 cases from Feb. 7 to 13, and the 50 new coronavirus cases between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, but down from the 85 new coronavirus cases between Jan. 24 and 30.

Fraser Health has also declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Royal Columbian Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit. 

At least five patients at Royal Columbian Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of this outbreak, said Fraser Health. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions.

“Upon declaring the outbreak, Fraser Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning as well as contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff, and patients,” said a news release.

The emergency department at Royal Columbian Hospital remains open and there has been no impact to any other areas of Royal Columbian Hospital.

Fraser Health said it has notified all patients on the affected unit about the outbreak, and in addition, have informed the families of patients who are unable to share this information.