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COVID-19 stubbornly lingers in Tri-City schools, care homes, prison and regional trauma hospital

COVID-19 cases have been found in places where people gather, even as Dr. Bonnie Henry cautions against risky behaviour while COVID-19 variants have been circulating
North Fraser Pretrial Services Centre is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, with 21 people in custody and one staff member testing positive.

Tri-City schools, seniors care homes, a regional trauma hospital and a prison continue to grapple with COVID-19 as the week marks the one-year anniversary of the first presumptive COVID-19 case in Canada.

The Fraser Health Authority has declared two new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks in the region at the Royal Columbian Hospital and at the North Fraser Pretrial Services Centre. 

At the New Westminster hospital, the cases include two patients and a staff person, according to a spokesperson for the health authority, which covers Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra.

The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions.

Fraser Health says it immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning as well as contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff, and patients.

Meanwhile, at the North Fraser Pre-Trial Centre in Port Coquitlam, 21 individuals in custody and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of the outbreak at that location. 

This is at least the third time cases have shown up at the local prison.

Fraser Health is working with BC Corrections and Provincial Health Services Authority infection control to support the site and manage the outbreak.

“In addition, we are actively following up with any individuals who had contact with the individuals in custody at this location who has tested positive for COVID-19,” the spokesperson stated in an email to the Tri-City News News.

In addition, three Tri-City senior care homes continue to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak, including Eagle Ridge Manor in Port Moody, Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam and Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam.

In the last situation report, the BC Centre for Disease Control reported 17 cases at The Madison, with four deaths, 51 cases at Nicola Lodge with five deaths, and two cases at the Eagle Ridge manor.

Meanwhile, in her Tuesday, Jan. 26 statement, Dr. Bonnie Henry expressed continued frustration with the high case counts in B.C., which require additional restrictions to keep groups small.

“The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be,” she said in a statement. “We are asking for everyone's help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province.”

The latest situation report posted by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows three confirmed cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa and six of the variant first found in the United Kingdom. 

Meanwhile, Fraser Health is reporting four schools with recent test positive COVID-19 cases.

For Jan. 26, there were 407 cases in B.C., 14 deaths in the province due to COVID-19. Fraser Health continues to have the highest number of cases in B.C. at 169 positive tests in the last 24 hours.