New COVID-19 outbreak at Abbotsford blueberry packing plant

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a new COVID-19 community outbreak at Fraser Valley Packing, an Abbotsford-area blueberry packing plant. Since the investigation started Thursday, there have been 15 positive cases.

There is also now a total 14 cases associated with the outbreak announced Friday on Haida Gwaii.

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Over 1,010 people in British Columbia have been required to self-isolate. Dr. Bonnie Henry stressed that isolation is a requirement and not optional.

“I understand this is difficult, especially now in the summer where it means you cannot work, it means you have to stay away from your family and friends,” said Henry. “Nobody wants this and that’s why it’s so important we continue to take our actions now.”

Henry encouraged British Columbians to enjoy the upcoming long weekend safely and to consider the risk of meeting with people outside of their own bubble.

Today Henry announced that she has amended the order on mass gathering to limit the number of people that can gather in short-term rentals and vacation accommodations including hotel rooms as well as rentals for houses, cabins and boats.

Henry asked British Columbians travelling in the province and those coming to the province from other regions to travel safely, including not asking service workers to bend the pandemic health measures.

In response to a question about an increase in COVID-19 cases coinciding with more American licence plates appearing in the province, Henry reminded British Columbians that we don’t know everybody’s story and that many people returned from America or other provinces for various reason including taking care of elderly family members or returning to their homes.

“We are all in this together. Whether our license place is from Alberta or California or whether it’s from here," said Henry. “We’re all here now and we all need to do what keeps each other safe.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said that it is not appropriate to harass people with non-B.C. license plates and that we as a community all have to do our part to keep each other safe no matter where we are from.

Henry said that school reopening details will be provided later this week and confirmed her belief that there are ways to get children back into classrooms in the fall. Henry highlighted that provincial health officials have also looked into the unintended negative consequences of children not being in classroom-learning situations, including impacts on mental and emotional health as well as the ability for children to socialize and learn.

B.C.’s current testing capacity is roughly 8,000 a day, and Henry says the province is increasing its capacity. There have been some testing and equipment challenges with the large amount of cases in the Interior.

British Columbia’s COVID-19 statistics on Monday, July 27, are:

36 new cases on Saturday, July 25
21 new cases on Sunday, July 26
24 new cases on Monday, July 27
3,500 total cases.
1,064 Vancouver Coastal Health cases
1,800 Fraser Heath cases
143 Vancouver Island Health cases
353 Interior Health cases
80 Northern Health cases
60 cases outside of Canada
264 active cases
11 acute care hospitals cases
3 ICU cases
2 additional deaths in long-term care
193 total deaths
3043 recoveries
3 active outbreaks, one in long-term care and two in acute care

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