Update: Coronavirus cases in B.C. now up to 12

Update: Coronavirus cases in B.C. now up to 12

There are now 12 reported cases of coronavirus in B.C.

All of the latest three cases reside in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region, which includes Richmond and have recently returned from Iran.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s top medical health officer, made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours after revealing a ninth case this morning.

The 10th case is a man in his 60s, who just travelled back from Iran and is now in isolation in the VCH region.

A small number of close contacts of the man are also in isolation

The 11th case is an adult woman, said Henry, who added there is limited information about her at the moment.

She is also in isolation and also recently travelled back from Iran and is in VCH region.

The 10th and 11th cases have no connection to any previous confirmed coronavirus patients.

The 12th case is a woman in her 30s and is a household contact of case number eight, which was announced Saturday as being a woman in her 60s, who is visiting from Iran.

Iran has reported  2,336 cases of the disease — up 835 from yesterday — and 77 deaths. However, the country’s reporting of coronavirus has been widely criticized.

The majority of the current cases in B.C. now have connections to Iran, as opposed to China, where the virus first surfaced late last year.

A ninth case of coronavirus was announced in B.C. on Tuesday morning.

Henry said the ninth case was a man in his 50s, who recently came home to the Fraser Health Region from Iran.

He is in isolation at home, as are the “small number of close contacts” of the man.

As of Tuesday morning, there were 92,823 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, causing 3,164 deaths, mostly in China.

More than 48,000 of the cases have fully recovered.

Given the five new coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths yesterday in nearby Washington State, Henry was asked at Tuesday’s morning’s press conference if there will be any extra measures taken at the U.S. border.

“There is screening at our Canadian borders and it’s still very limited (chances of getting COVID-19)…we still believe it’s very safe,” she said, adding that people shouldn’t be afraid to cross the border into the U.S.

Henry said she and her team are in close communication with their counterparts in Washington State.

With spring break fast approaching, Henry also urged parents to think about where they’re travelling during the holiday.

“What is your tolerance for being caught in a quarantine in that country? Perhaps you should defer your travel if it’s a country that’s having problems (with the disease).”

As for mass gatherings during the spring, such as the Persian New Year and Easter, Henry said it’s incumbent upon event organizers to risk assess ahead of time.

“We need to be cognizant of what’s happening in our local community. Do a risk assessment for your event. Who is coming to your event?” she said.

Henry reiterated the mantra of B.C. health officials from day one of the outbreak, urging people to wash their hands regularly and to stay at home if they are sick.

She advised people to change the way they greet each other, avoiding handshakes and kissing and said people with underlying health conditions should think twice before travelling.

An eighth case of coronavirus was announced Saturday in B.C.

It was in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region, which includes Richmond.

The patient was a woman in her 60s from Tehran, Iran who is visiting family who live in the VCH region, which stretches from Richmond to Vancouver, and north to Sea-to-Sky and Bella Coola.

The woman, who began experiencing symptoms a few days after she arrived in the province this week, is at home in isolation along with her family members, said B.C.’s top medical health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. 

Her infection is “relatively mild,” Henry said, and the woman had a limited number of contacts.  

“The small number (of contacts) are all in isolation in the same household and we’re monitoring them carefully,” she said.

Vancouver Coastal Health is actively investigating the case.

Henry said B.C.’s first four cases have “fully recovered” and are out of isolation. Most of their contacts are also now out of isolation following their 14 day quarantine, and none of them developed any symptoms.

“That’s very good news,” said Henry.

On Monday evening, Washington state health authorities confirmed that five more people had died from illness caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), bring the region’s total to six.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, of Public Health, Seattle & King County, said five of the deaths were people from King County and one was a person from Snohomish County, north of Seattle.

There were reports yesterday that the virus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state, which now has 18 confirmed cases.

On Sunday, health officials said a second person had died from the coronavirus: a man in his 70s from a nursing facility near Seattle, where dozens of people were sick and had been tested for the virus.

Authorities said the man died Saturday.

On Friday, health officials said a man in his 50s died of coronavirus, the first death from the virus in the U.S.

Both had underlying health conditions, and both were being treated at a hospital in Kirkland, Wash., east of Seattle.

Of the new Washington cases, two were women, one in her 80s and another in her 90s.

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