Dr. Bonnie Henry reports a spike in COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Outbreaks in a federal prison and community settings led to 95 new positive test results

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      British Columbia has won acclaim across the country for its success in flattening the curve of coronavirus infections and driving down hospitalizations.

      But today, the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, reported that there are 95 new cases.

      She noted that this spike is linked to community outbreaks, including 40 new positive test results at the Mission federal correctional facility.

      There are now 106 inmates who've contracted the novel coronavirus, along with 12 staff members.

      Another 16 new cases have been linked to Superior Poultry Processors Ltd. in Coquitlam, which was shut down by Fraser Health Authority.

      There are still 35 positive tests linked to the United Poultry facility in Vancouver. 

      The new cases bring the provincial total to 1,948.

      Henry also reported two new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the provincial total to 100, including the first fatality in a B.C. First Nations community.

      She didn't reveal where this death occurred.

      Henry noted that elders are the "culture and history keepers" in Indigenous communities. And she said it's particularly tragic because people can't come together and mourn in traditional ways.

      "My condolences and heart goes out to this community and to the family," Henry said.

      There are 96 people in B.C. hospitals with COVID-19, including 41 in critical care or the intensive care unit.

      Another 1,137 people have recovered. One more long-term care home has been taken off the list, which means outbreaks have ended in 11 of these facilities.

      Henry stated that despite the recent community outbreaks, she feels that B.C. has made good progress in flattening the curve of infections.

      "We can't let go our guard yet," she said. "We need to hold the line right now."

      The largest number of cases, 853, is now in the Fraser Health region, and that can be partially linked to the prison outbreak in Mission.

      There are 778 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, with 115 on Vancouver Island, 160 in the Interior Health region, and 42 in the Northern Health region.

      Henry spent some time in today's briefing urging anyone experiencing violence in the home to seek help by calling 911 or VictimLink. It can be reached toll-free at 1-800-563-0808.

      Anyone in danger can also send an email to victimlinkbc@bc211.ca.

      "Your immediate safety is more important than physical distancing and self-isolation," Henry emphasized.

      Today, Health Minister Adrian Dix did not participate in the COVID-19 briefing. Normally, he makes himself available to answer questions from reporters after the provincial health officer's presentation.