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A resident of a Port Coquitlam private care facility has tested positive for the novel coronvirus, the first publically acknowledged case in the city.
The case marks the second positive diagnosis at a seniors' home in the Tri-Cities and raises the provincial tally to 12 long-term care homes which have recorded at least one case of COVID-19 in a staff member or resident.
The case, revealed Saturday, confirmed rumours that had been circulating around the city over the last several days that a resident at the Shaughnessy Care Centre had tested positive for the virus.
On Wednesday, The Tri-City News received a tip that someone at the facility had tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, Fraser Health would not confirm the case.
A spokesperson for the authority said at the time: “We will not be identifying the specific location of confirmed cases unless public health providers cannot be certain they have reached all those who need to be contacted and who therefore might be a risk to the public.”
Fraser Health had previously identified a positive case of the virus at the Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam March 20.
But by Saturday, after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry added another care homes to the provincial total, Fraser Health confirmed to several news outlets that an outbreak had indeed been identified at the Port Coquitlam facility.
Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West — who had also heard rumours of the case — took to Twitter Saturday to express his sadness.
I was very saddened to learn of the first publicly-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the @CityofPoCo at the Shaughnessy Care Centre.— Brad West (@BradWestPoCo) March 29, 2020
I know everyone in our city will be keeping this community member close to our hearts and their recovery foremost in our thoughts.
There are now 884 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, up 92 over the last 24 hours. Of those, 81 are hospitalized across the province, including 52 in the intensive care unit. At 39, Fraser Health region — which includes the Tri-Cities — has the highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the province.
The current death rate for those who have been infected with the novel coronavirus in the province stands at 2%, and that reflects a disproportionate number of deaths recorded in long-term care homes where seniors with underlying conditions or weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the virus, said Dr. Henry at a press conference Saturday.
To date, the province has recorded 396 people — 45% of the current total — who have fully recovered from the virus.
As of March 25, 34,561 individuals have been tested and the province says it now completes roughly 3,500 tests per day.
Read more of our COVID-19 coverage here.