Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix update the province’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, May 19, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. records 12 new COVID-19 cases, three more deaths

One positive test at Agassiz federal correction facility

B.C.’s 12 new cases of COVID-19 include one at the Mountain Institution in Agassiz, the second coronavirus outbreak in a Fraser Valley federal prison.

The new case was “identified early and has very few risky contacts,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said May 21, with prevention steps taken similar to those at Mission Institution where more than 100 inmates and staff have been affected.

There have been three deaths related to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, two in long-term care facilities in the Fraser Health region and one in Vancouver Coastal, for a total of 152 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in B.C. in January.

The Correctional Service of Canada first reported a positive test of an inmate at Mountain Institution in Agassiz, one of a group of 15 inmates who were placed in isolation May 4 at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford before being transferred to their home institutions at Mountain, Pacific, Kent and Matsqui.

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B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said with outbreaks continuing in 14 long-term care and assisted living facilities in B.C., along with three in non-COVID-19 acute-care hospital wards, restrictions on visitors to senior care homes must continue. All three of the latest deaths were elderly people.

The pressure on hospitals continues to decline, with 43 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of May 21. That includes 21 in Fraser Health, 19 in Vancouver Coastal Health and one patient each in Interior Health, Island Health and Northern Health.


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