B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates COVID-19 efforts, June 1, 2020. (B.C. government)

28 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. including baby in neonatal intensive care unit

Health officials announce outbreak at St. Paul’s Hospital, a case at Site C Dam, more cases in Kelowna

B.C. has recorded 28 new COVID-19 cases as health officials work to curb a number of new exposures, including a new outbreak at the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

In an unscheduled news conference on Friday (July 17), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that a baby in the NICU ward has tested positive for the novel coronavirus but isn’t showing any symptoms at this time.

St. Paul’s NICU provides 24-hour care for premature babies and other newborns with health problems that require specialized attention. Restrictions have been put in place limiting visitors and the area is being thoroughly cleaned.

“Contact tracing is ongoing to determine how the virus was introduced into people in the NICU and Vancouver Coastal Health is investigating with St. Paul’s,” Henry said, adding that some families have been contacted and are self-isolating.

Henry said that other exposures include at the Site C Dam work site where one worker from Alberta has tested positive, as well as four confirmed cases connected to a cherry farm in Oliver.

READ MORE: Alberta worker at B.C.’s Site C dam tests positive for COVID-19

Cases linked to the ongoing exposure at a number of downtown Kelowna establishments have also increased to 35.

“We anticipate there will be more cases in the coming days as people who were exposed are now starting to develop symptoms,” Henry said, adding that she has been in discussion with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran to come up with a plan to curb further spread but stopped short of detailing specifics.

ALSO READ: 35 COVID-19 infections linked to Kelowna parties around Canada Day

As of Friday, B.C. has 207 active confirmed cases with eighteen in hospital. Two people are in intensive care. Henry announced no new deaths, keeping the total at 189.

“As you know with this virus, once you have been exposed there is nothing we can do to prevent you from developing disease we just need to wait it out and ensure that if you do get sick that you are not passing it on to others and that’s how break these chains of transmission,” Henry said.

For the top doctor, the flare ups and surge in cases in the past five days is a concern.

“It’s not necessarily unexpected but it is a warning to us that we need to do more to keep things in balance,” she said.

“This is one of the reasons I felt the need to speak today. Many of these new cases are people in their 20s and 30s and transmission is directly connected to those very important social events.”

Symptoms related to COVID-19 are less severe in younger people compared to the elderly, which means some may not know they are ill or contagious.

“But they can still spread the virus to others and your ability to spread that virus is just as high or higher as older people,” Henry said, calling on younger generations to use their influence on social media to encourage safe social practises.

“Don’t let COVID steal your summer.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crown Lease secured for land for new Loon Lake fire hall

Construction on hall to replace one destroyed in 2017 expected to start next year

Psalm 23 Society gives hope to people, gives back to community

‘When someone reaches out we want to be there for them’

Save Our Summer concert tour coming to Ashcroft, Clinton, Lytton

Los Borrachos embarks on first Canadian tour to bring free concerts to B.C. communities

Masks will be mandatory on all BC Transit buses from Aug. 24

New rule will apply to community bus serving Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton

Fire and pandemic haven’t derailed Clinton store’s three year plan

Hunnie’s Mercantile, which started in 2017, is ‘dead on target’ with its plans to expand

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Most Read