B.C.’s slow increase in COVID-19 coronavirus cases has continued with 25 new cases as of April 30, including 12 more cases in the outbreak at the medium security federal prison at Mission.
There were no new medical facility outbreaks, but additional cases at the 24 care homes have brought the total to 256 residents and 153 staff. Two more people have died due to the novel coronavirus, one at a care facility and one in hospital in the Vancouver Coastal health region, for a total of 111 deaths in B.C.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted that the 2,112 B.C. cases come on the 100th day of public health warnings about COVID-19 cases that were showing up in travellers from China.
Henry said there have been no additional cases among staff from B.C. chicken processing facilities, with Superior Poultry in Coquitlam now accounting for 50 positive tests and United Poultry in Vancouver with 42. One positive test each has been confirmed among staff at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry in Yarrow and Sofina Foods in Port Coquitlam.
The accumulation of new positive tests in inmates at the Mission Institution indicates the progress of the disease and the limits of COVID-19 testing, Henry said. When the outbreak was first detected, every inmate was tested and some inmates are only showing symptoms and testing positive two weeks later. There are 120 positive tests in total, including some prison staff.
“The incubation period for this virus is quite long, so there are people who were exposed up to two weeks ago who are starting become ill,” Henry said. “In the institution itself it’s very challenging to have complete isolation of people, and it can also be very punitive in that type of a situation.
“We do know that there have been exposures, unintentional obviously, and there are a lot of infection prevention and control measures that have been put into place, but they have been in the last two weeks.”