British Columbia

Independent school suspends classes after case of COVID-19 confirmed

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says a staff member at an independent school in the Fraser Health region has tested positive for COVID-19.

B.C. officials say there have been no new deaths in the last 24 hours; 8 new cases confirmed

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives an update on COVID-19 in B.C. (MIke McArthur/CBC)

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says a staff member at an independent school in the Fraser Health region has tested positive for COVID-19.

The adult involved fills several different roles at the school, including teaching, but has not had recent contact with children, Henry said Thursday. The school has ended in-person classes for the rest of the school year as a precaution, and a small number of close contacts are now in isolation.

She added that the news is not unexpected after students began returning to class on June 1, but the risk of infection remains low for students.

Thursday's daily update includes eight new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, for a total of 2,783 to date. One hundred and ninety of those cases remain active.

For a sixth day in a row, B.C. has seen no deaths from the virus, leaving the total number of fatalities to date at 168. Just one person has died in the last 12 days. Ten people are in hospital, including five in intensive care.

There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, leaving six active outbreaks in long-term care and one at Mission Memorial Hospital.

Meanwhile, the outbreak at the Nature's Touch frozen fruit plant in Abbotsford has been declared over, leaving three remaining active outbreaks in the community.

Henry said she's "cautiously optimistic" that B.C. might be able to move onto Phase 3 of the reopening plan by next week, but recent days have seen new challenges, including a cluster of connected cases at two long-term care homes at Mission Memorial Hospital.

Watch: Dr. Bonnie Henry on Canadian case count surpassing 100,000

Dr. Henry saddened that Canada has surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 cases

3 years ago
Duration 1:33
'Each of those people who have been ill reflect the pain on their entire family, their community,' says B.C.'s provincial health officer.

All long-term care staff now working at 1 facility

Also on Thursday, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that B.C. has finished implementing an April 10 public health order limiting long-term care workers to a single facility.

The change was made to stem the spread of COVID-19, and involved 8,878 workers at these homes.

"This is important. It's important to the work — not just make announcements," Dix said.

He also said that the health-care system is back to working at full capacity, and more surgeries are now happening every day than before the pandemic began. Non-urgent elective surgeries were cancelled on March 16 to clear hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, and only began happening again last month.

Dix said the continuing evidence that B.C. has flattened the curve of infection should serve as evidence of the power everyone has to determine the future.

"I hope each of us knows in B.C. we chose to fight. We made tremendous sacrifices. We followed our own lead. We listened to Dr. Bonnie Henry," he said.

The number of confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 across the country has now surpassed 100,000. CBC News has tallied the number of deaths across Canada at 8,348 based on provincial data and regional health information.

Also Thursday, the province closed down its portion of Peace Arch Park on the U.S.-Canada border south of White Rock, B.C., saying a "significant" increase in the number of visitors over the last month has created public safety concerns

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With files from Roshini Nair