B.C. has new COVID-19 community outbreak, at Matsqui Institution

Infected inmate from Matsqui has since been transferred to Agassiz's Mountain Institution

B.C.'s latest community outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is at the medium-security Matsqui Institution, B.C.'s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry revealed May 21.

This is the second correctional facility to have an outbreak, after a large one at the medium-security Mission Institution. There has only been one case so far recorded at the Matsqui Institution, and Henry said that the infected inmate was "identified early" and had "few risky contacts." 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.

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Overally, there were 12 new cases of the novel coronavirus identified in the past 24 hours, for a total of 2,479 people. Of the 307 people who have had the virus and have not yet either recoved or died, 43 are in hospital with eight of those in intensive care units.

The number of people who have active cases of the virus has been dropping steadily

There were three new deaths in the past 24 hours, for a total of 152 people since the virus first started ciruculating in January. 

The breakdown of all infections by health region is:
• 887 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up two from yesterday);
• 1,223 in Fraser Health (up nine from yesterday);
• 126 in Island Health;
• 183 in Interior Health (up one from yesterday); and
• 60 in Northern Health.

Some regions have far fewer active cases than other, but Henry was clear that she would not start having different restrictions in place in different health regions. 

"We do know that people move," she said.

Seniors' care homes and living facilities remain places that house many of the cases. There are now 14 active outbreaks at those care homes, as well as three acute-care facilities. That number is down one from yesterday because an outbreak at the Windermere Care Centre long-term care facility has been declared over.

So far 537 infected people have had a connection to seniors' living facilities, including 329 residents and 208 workers. 

The outbreak at East Vancouver's United Poultry is newly considered to be over, and the plant has reopened. Outbreaks at other poultry-processing facilities that have had cases of the virus are also considered to be over.

Henry warned that there could be a second wave of the virus. She pointed to South Korea as a place that is currently battling a second wave of cases, with the outbreaks largely able to be traced back to people visiting nightclubs. While B.C.'s restaurants and pubs have started to reopen, there is not yet any clear timeline in B.C. for when nightclubs will be able to reopen.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom 

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