Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speak at press conference at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on Monday, February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner

B.C. confirms 8th case of COVID-19; 1,000 tested for novel coronavirus

First four patients have been released from isolation after testing negative for virus

The province has confirmed B.C.’s eighth case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, involving a third patient who recently travelled from Iran.

The latest person to be infected is a woman in her 60s who travelled from Tehran to visit family in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced during a news conference in Vancouver Saturday.

“It’s a relatively mild case, so we’re thankful for that,” Henry said.

ALSO READ: Public health agency weighs stronger COVID-19 protection for front-line workers

The woman was aware of the virus spreading in Iran, and when she started to feel unwell stayed home before called ahead to a clinic, Henry added. She’s now in isolation with her family. Meanwhile, the first four patients have been released from isolation after testing negative for the virus at least twice. The three other patients remain in stable condition.

Health Minister Adrian Dix reiterated the need for people to wash their hands, not touch their face and dispose of used tissues. Most importantly: stay home if you’re feeling unwell, he said.

The announcement of the latest case comes as Washington State officials confirm the first death in the U.S. from the virus.

State officials issued a terse news release announcing the death, gave no details and scheduled a news conference.

Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington state are worried about the novel coronavirus spreading through West Coast communities after confirming three patients were infected by unknown means.

The patients — an older Northern California woman with chronic health conditions, a high school student in Everett, Washington and an employee at a Portland, Oregon-area school — hadn’t recently travelled overseas or had any known close contact with a traveller or an infected person, authorities said.


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