VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. recorded three COVID-19 deaths and 18 cases on Friday, while the province is restricting drive-in movie theatres to no more than 50 vehicles.
While Phase 2 of the province’s restart plan underway, the order restricting mass gatherings to no more than 50 individuals remains in place.
“Further, the order has been amended to also include no more than 50 vehicles for outdoor drive-in events, with a restriction on the sale of refreshments,” says a joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
“Anyone attending these events must stay in their cars unless they have to go to washrooms, which must be serviced with running water for proper hand hygiene.”
The Twilight drive-in theatre in Aldergrove has remained open during the pandemic, while organizers of the Summerset Music and Arts Festival announced last week it may be held at a drive-in theatre in August.
Meanwhile, B.C. has now recorded 155 deaths and more than 2,500 cases related to the virus. The recovery rate remains at 81 per cent.
All three of the new deaths happened in the Fraser Health region, according to the release.
An outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital has been declared over. Outbreaks at 14 at long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care units remain active.
Three more COVID-19 deaths and another 18 cases – latest update for BC. Recovery rate remains near 81 percent. No new community outbreaks and the outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital is officially over.
— Bruce Claggett (@BruceClaggett) May 22, 2020
The number of deaths at Langley Lodge, a care home where two outbreaks have been recorded, is up to 16, according to the operator.
“There have been more deaths since yesterday; sadly, three of our residents who were positive for COVID-19,” says a website post from Thursday.
Lodge Lodge also reports 16 active cases, including eight staff members, one being a second healthcare worker from the Fraser Health Authority.
But the latter had minimal contact with residents, says Langley Lodge, adding that person worked in a unit where no cases have been recorded and had been wearing personal protective equipment.
Meanwhile, at Mountain Institution, a federal prison where an outbreak was reported Thursday, still has just one case, while nine tests are pending, according to Correctional Service Canada.
There are no longer any active cases at the Mission Institution, where an earlier outbreak involved 120 inmates, including one who died.
“Public health teams continue to provide support for community outbreaks at the Mountain Institution and Mission Institution – both federal corrections facilities — at the Oppenheimer Group, facilities in the poultry sector and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta,” say Henry and Dix.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 888 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,236 in the Fraser Health, 127 in the Island Health, 194 in Interior Health, and 62 in Northern Health.
There are 310 active cases in B.C.
Of those, 41 people remain hospitalized, including eight in intensive care.
“This week, we have seen British Columbians throughout the province using the WorkSafeBC public health guidelines and the rules for safe social interactions to increase their activities while protecting employees, customers, friends and family,” say Henry and Dix.
“This approach – moving slowly, with patience and care – is our way forward. We have made great strides to flatten our curve, and we must continue with our efforts.”