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Three new COVID-19 cases in Northern Health, B.C. adds another 28

B.C. just shy of 3,200 cases
(via Government of B.C. Flickr)

Dr. Bonnie Henry made a surprise appearance this afternoon (July 17) to provide developments on COVID-19 when a written statement is normally released on a Friday.

Henry announced Northern Health has recorded three new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours for a new total of 68. The last case before today diagnosed was on June 9. The authority went 37 consecutive days without any cases found.

Dr. Henry said two were travel-related and one was out of province in Northern Health involving three different communities in the authority.

B.C. has recorded 28 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 3,198. It's the highest daily total in the province since May 7.

There are 1,032 recorded cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,676 in Fraser Health, 136 in the Island Health Authority and 235 in Interior Health. There are 51 cases that involve people that live outside of Canada.

There have been no new deaths across the province which keeps the total at 189. 

There is one active case at the Site C dam project in Fort St. John. A worker arrived from Alberta on July 13, and immediately self-isolated after receiving their test results from Alberta Health Services on July 15, BC Hydro said. Northern Health provided a second test and confirmed the worker was positive on July 16.

"The worker is being cared for by the on-site health clinic, which has the trained staff, facilities and supplies required to provide health care to workers in isolation or quarantine," BC Hydro said in a statement. "The worker will continue isolating in their room, which is in a separate dormitory and away from other workers, until they are medically cleared to leave."

There are currently 1,446 workers at the camp outside Fort St. John, and five in self-isolation. It's not known whether the other four workers have also been tested. BC Hydro could not be immediately reached for more information.

One new source of infection is the neo-natal unit at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver's West End. Another is at the Sandman Suites Hotel on Davie Street, where provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said "there were a number of healthcare workers who were staying at that hotel."

Henry said that fewer than 10 people were exposed to the virus at the St. Paul's Hospital outbreak but that some of those were infants. 

"Vancouver Coastal [Health region] is still looking at how the virus was introduced," she said.

"There is nobody who is very ill. Everybody is being monitored carefully and they have taken steps to make sure that there is adequate support in a separate physical area with separate staff so there is no risk to neo-nates at St. Paul's right now."

- With files from Matt Prepost, Alaska Highway News, Glen Korstrom, Business In Vancouver

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