COVID-19 outbreak reported in Vancouver General Hospital respiratory unit

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      One of the province's busiest hospitals is grappling with an outbreak of the novel coronavirus over the Christmas holiday.

      Vancouver Coastal Health reported that patients in a respiratory unit at Vancouver General Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19.

      It's resulted in the closure of the unit, known as T12A, to new patients. No visitors are allowed unless the patient is receiving end-of-life care.

      The rest of the hospital is open.

      On Christmas Eve, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that there were 582 new cases in B.C. that day, including 326 in the Fraser Health region. Another 107 were in Vancouver Coastal Health's boundaries.

      On that day, there were 8,865 active cases, a decline of 272 from the previous day.