B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie head for an update of the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, June 30, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie head for an update of the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, June 30, 2020. (B.C. government)

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. health officials have declared the province’s only community COVID-19 outbreak over, at an Abbotsford tool manufacturer where follow-up testing has not found any further infection.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said July 2 that the all-clear at New World Technologies means all B.C. community outbreaks are over, after poultry processing, greenhouse and other facilities were affected along with health care centres. There are still five active outbreaks in the health care system, four of them in long-term care facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix reported that general case counts remained low over the Canada Day period, with 15 new positive tests in the 24 hours up to July 1 and nine more up to July 2. There are 17 people in hospital, two in critical care, and three more people died of coronavirus-related conditions over the two days.

“It is something we should always remember,” Dix said. “We acknowledge them in their grief and we join them in their sorrow.”

Dix said June 29 marked a milestone for the B.C. health ministry, with more than 6,000 emergency room visits recorded for the first time since the beginning of March. It’s the latest indication that people are no longer reluctant to seek medical treatment since the pandemic began.

B.C.’s scheduled surgeries are also rising, after an estimated 30,000 were cancelled or postponed to divert resources to a potential wave of COVID-19 cases.

Henry acknowledged that while most people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C. have recovered, there have been long-term effects in some cases, including blood clotting, small strokes, confusion and scarring of lungs.

“What we really hear of most is profound fatigue that takes a long time to get over,” Henry said.

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