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Four more COVID-19 deaths at Langley care home

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated May 25, 2020 at 7:01 pm PDT

FILE - Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a daily COVID-19 briefing on Monday, April 13, 2020. (Courtesy Government of B.C.)

All four COVID-19 deaths in B.C. over the past 48 hours were at Langley Lodge

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry expects to provide new data next week on the reopening period

Henry doesn't expect to lift the provincial order banning gatherings of 50 people or more

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — All four COVID-19 deaths in B.C. over the past 48 hours were at a Langley care home experiencing a second outbreak.

The four deaths happened at the Langley Lodge, bringing the total in B.C. to 161. Another 12 new cases were reported since the weekend, for 2,530 overall.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the care home deaths illustrate why strong measures governing them were instituted in B.C., including single-site rules for workers.

Langley Lodge says on its website that 20 residents have now died in the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at the seniors care home as of Monday.

There were two new cases among residents and one staff member tested for the virus. There are also currently four active cases among residents, and 19 recoveries among the residents, according to the lodge.

In addition, there have been nine cases among staff members, including two Fraser Health workers sent into the facility to help.

There have been more than 50 cases total linked to Langley Lodge.

Operators at the lodge said one of the challenges is some residents have dementia and can’t comprehend how or why they need to physically distance from others.

The outbreak started almost a month ago and has been contained to two floors at the lodge.

No new outbreaks were reported Monday, while those remain active at 16 care homes or acute care facilities. B.C. has 267 active cases, with 37 people in hospital, including seven in intensive care.

The recovery rate for COVID-19 in B.C. increased slightly to 83 per cent.

Reuniting at the border

Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, also responded to reports of people on either side of the Canada-U.S. border exposing a loophole in restrictions by meeting in Peace Arch Park.

Henry continues to lobby to have some ability for family reunification for people who are across the borders and have relationships on either side.

RELATED: After spending 69 days apart, couple reunites at Peace Arch

Dix reiterated that current restrictions on non-essential travel across the border have been extended until June.

“As I’ve said before, my expectation is that will continue,” he said.

“The fundamental question remains, which is the need to ensure that we don’t have transmission in B.C., and that’s why I don’t see the border opening for visitors anytime soon.”

Henry, meanwhile, expects to provide new data next week on B.C.’s reopening period, but doesn’t anticipate lifting the provincial order banning gatherings of 50 people or more.

She isn’t budging on restricting all drive-in events — including movie theatres — to 50 cars or less.