B.C. confirms eight new COVID-19 cases on March 5

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      Update (March 6): The B.C. government unveiled its pandemic response plan while cases were announced in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec and more deaths and new cases were announced in Washington state. For more information, see this article.

      Original article (March 5):

      Today (March 5), British Columbia confirmed that there are eight new cases of COVID-19 in the province, which is the largest number to be announced here within one day since the global outbreak began.

      At a news conference, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that four of the cases are close contacts of someone who traveled to Iran.

      Two other cases are patients who traveled to Iran.

      One case is a female Seattle resident in her 50s who was visiting family in the Fraser Health Region.

      Another case is a woman in her 50s from the Vancouver Coastal Health Region with no travel history and who is believed to have contracted the virus during community contact—a first for Canada.

      The total for the province has consequently risen to 21 cases.

      Also today, University Canada West (UCW) closed its campus today in Downtown Vancouver after a student was identified with a presumptive case of COVID-19. The student's father had been visiting from overseas and has been identified with the virus, according to UCW.

      Previously on March 4, B.C. announced the 13th B.C. case in an 80-year-old woman who returned from travel in India and Hong Kong. She has no connections to any previously reported cases.

      She has other underlying medical conditions and is in critical condition. She has been isolated in the intensive care unit at Vancouver General Hospital.

      Her close contacts have been identified and contacted who are isolating themselves for 14 days and are being monitored for symptoms.

      China, Iran, and Northern Italy are listed as Level 3 (or avoid non-essential travel) for travel health risks by the Canadian government.

      Anyone returning travellers from Iran or China are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

      Information about COVID-19 is available at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook