British Columbia

Canada Post driver in Chilliwack tests positive for COVID-19, as B.C. announces 10 new cases

A Canada Post driver in Chilliwack, B.C., has tested positive for COVID-19, as B.C. health officials Friday confirmed 10 new cases of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours and one more death.

Driver's last day of work was June 19 and showed no symptoms, says spokesperson

Canada Post says it was informed Wednesday that a driver under contract at its Chilliwack depot had tested positive for COVID-19. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

A Canada Post driver in Chilliwack, B.C., has tested positive for COVID-19, as B.C. health officials confirmed Friday 10 new cases of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours and one more death.

Phil Legault, a spokesperson for Canada Post, said it was informed Wednesday that a driver under contract at its Chilliwack depot tested positive for the disease.

The driver's last day of work was June 19. They were feeling well and showing no symptoms, Legault said.

The entire first floor of the depot and post office underwent a deep cleaning and sanitization Wednesday as a precaution, he said, adding Canada Post is in contact with the Public Health Agency of Canada and following its recommendations.

"We continue to keep our employees informed, while stressing the importance of following physical distancing protocols within the facility and conducting proper hand hygiene," he said. 

"We will continue to work with public health authorities and our unions when it comes to putting safety first in our facilities."

Canada Post did not immediately respond when asked whether the driver had any contact with other employees and whether any other workers are self-isolating.

Legault said PHAC and the World Health Organization have assured Canada Post there's a low risk of spread from products or packaging.

159 actives cases in B.C.

B.C. now has a total of 2,878 cases, 159 of which are active, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday in a written statement.

The new figures include a correction from yesterday's numbers: the province announced 20 confirmed cases, when there were actually 19.

A total of 174 people have died from the virus in B.C. The latest death was linked to the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Seventeen people are in hospital, five of whom are in intensive care.

There are no new community and health-care facility outbreaks, and an outbreak at Nicola Lodge has been declared over.

Six outbreaks persist, including five in long-term care and one in an acute-care facility.

A total of 2,545 people have recovered from COVID-19.

Earlier Friday, health officials said First Nations communities in B.C. have fared better during the pandemic compared to the rest of the province.

Eighty-seven people have tested positive for the disease between Jan 1. and June 14, said Dr. Shannon McDonald, acting chief medical health officer for the First Nations Health Authority.

Four people have died, and there are only three active cases in the FNHA region. McDonald said 42 of the test-positive cases live on or near a reserve.

The numbers come as the province moves into Phase 3 of its reopening plan and further eases COVID-19 restrictions.

The phase allows for "careful" travel across the province, and the reopening of hotels, resorts, spas and RV parks. Some Indigenous leaders say they should have been consulted before the announcement on Wednesday. 

In their statement, Henry and Dix said communities need to assess the risks and do what is right for them. The two said they recognized the measures to keep rural and remote communities safe have come with hardship.

"The need to put aside important cultural gatherings, to maintain a safe physical distance and to limit visitors has had a great social, mental and economic impact on many," their statement said.

"It also reminds us of the resilience that First Nations communities continue to display in the face of hardships."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Migdal

Journalist

Alex Migdal is a journalist with CBC News in Vancouver. He's previously reported for The Globe and Mail, Guelph Mercury and Edmonton Journal. You can reach him at alex.migdal@cbc.ca.

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