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COVID-19 outbreak at second B.C. poultry plant, four more deaths

Last Updated Apr 24, 2020 at 12:12 am PDT

FILE - Dr. Bonnie Henry reported on April 3, 2020 that the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 decreased to 146. (Courtesy Government of BC)

The Superior Poultry Plant in Coquitlam has two cases of the virus

Superior is a sister plant to United Poultry in Vancouver

Total of deaths in B.C. reaches 94, 29 new cases also recorded

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — A second poultry plant in B.C. has a COVID-19 outbreak, with some of the same employees working at both federally inspected facilities.

Superior Poultry Processors in Coquitlam has two cases of the virus, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.

Superior is owned by the same company as United Poultry in Vancouver, which was closed Monday after 28 employees there tested positive for the virus.

Henry said it appears employees were working at both the Coquitlam and Vancouver plants.

“It does look like there will be others in the new facility who will be found ill, as well.”

Testing is ongoing at the Coquitlam plant, she added, while the Fraser Health Authority is investigating.

The investigation at the Vancouver plant is also ongoing, with the province reporting another case, bringing the total to 29.

In addition to the poultry plant, Henry announced outbreaks at a long-term care home in the Interior, as well as in acute care units at Ridge Meadows and Lions Gate hospitals. The hospital in Maple Ridge had a previous case in its acute care ward.

Henry also announced four new deaths — all in the Lower Mainland — related to COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 94, as well as 29 new cases.

The recorded total of cases in B.C. is up to 1,824, with a recovery rate of 60 per cent.

The outbreak at the federal prison in Mission now has 78 cases.

Henry said 103 people remain hospitalized in B.C. with COVID-19, including 44 in intensive care.

She also said outbreaks have been resolved at 10 long-term care or assisted-living facilities.

“As we are seeing around the world, and is becoming very clear to us, we are going to be living with COVID-19 in our communities for some time,” Henry said.

“And we need to develop our way of managing that and living with that.”

She added that doesn’t mean not having any new cases, but to identify those early, manage them and limit transmission.

“It is a very careful balance, and it’s going to be difficult for us to find that.”

She reiterated the need to maintain health and safety restrictions.

“It’s a time for patience and for resilience.”