British Columbia

44 employees test positive in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley glass factory

A new COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a glass manufacturing company in Langley, B.C.

Fraser Health says it provided vaccines and testing to employees on site

Fraser Health says 44 employees at Vitrum Glass in Langley, B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19. (Vitrum Glass Group)

Fraser Health says 44 employees of Vitrum Glass have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak at the glass manufacturing company in Langley, B.C.

The health authority says it provided testing and immunizations on site, and those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate.

Fraser Health says the immunizations are part of an "aggressive" response to manage clusters and outbreaks in high-risk work settings such as the food processing industry and farm operations and nurseries where workers live in crowded accommodations, including temporary farm workers.

"We are using a number of different means to manage COVID-19 outbreaks, such as immunization for cluster and outbreak control," reads a Fraser Health press release. "We are confident that this will help us protect our communities as well as those workplaces."

Thursday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province is using vaccines to target areas where they can have the most impact in protecting communities.

"These are the places where we know outbreaks right now are spilling over into our community and causing clusters and outbreaks in other settings in the community and at homes and families," she said. "We are targeting the initial doses that we have to those settings, and pharmacists are partnering with us in some places."

Fraser Health also declared outbreaks at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence in Mission as over.

Public exposures announced

Saturday, Vancouver Coastal Health announced two potential exposures at Bimini's Beer Hall on West 4th Avenue and The Blarney Stone on Carrall Street in Vancouver. The possible exposures occurred on March 6 at Bimini's during operating hours and on March 5 at The Blarney Stone during operating hours.

The health authority says the exposures are believed to be low risk, but is asking anyone who was at either establishment on the specified dates and times to self-monitor themselves for symptoms. 

Further north, the Yukon government is warning of a COVID-19 exposure at Coeur Mining's Silvertip mine just south of its border with British Columbia.

It says health officials have been informed of transmission at the mine, which draws workers from areas including Lower Post, B.C., Whitehorse and Watson Lake, Yukon. Anyone who has been working at the mine within the past two weeks is asked to self-isolate.

With files from CBC News

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