B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government)

Eight new B.C. coronavirus cases, one with no travel link

Four close contacts with Iran visitor, one from Seattle

B.C. has eight new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus as of Thursday, one of which is not connected with travel to Iran, China or other identified areas of infection.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the case getting the most attention is a woman in the Vancouver Coastal region who has not recently travelled or had contact with a known case. She was identified by the B.C. procedure of testing people for COVID-19 when they are tested for seasonal influenza.

Four of the new cases are close contacts with a previously identified man who travelled to Iran, and one is a visitor from Seattle, Henry said. B.C. now has 21 identified cases. Six of the new cases are residents of the Fraser Health region, and the other two are in Vancouver Coastal.

“I would have a low tolerance right now for international travel, because this is moving very quickly,” Henry said.

A woman in her 80s in the Vancouver Coastal health region, identified Wednesday, remains in critical condition. She tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a group tour in India.

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Health Minister Adrian Dix said Premier John Horgan will announce a “government-wide response” to the coronavirus situation on Friday. Regional health authorities have been gearing up a response to a potential increase in cases, and B.C. has done more testing than most other jurisdictions in North America, Dix said.

Henry said it has not been determined yet how the woman from Seattle contracted COVID-19.

“We do know that there have been some contacts in health care settings,” Henry said. “She does live in Seattle and that is the area where they have seen quite a few cases.”


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