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

Washington state coronavirus that killed 6 not yet showing up in B.C.

Officials watching for similar cluster as Kirkland nursing home

B.C. health officials are watching for new COVID-19 cases to show up after a cluster of cases was identified at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, resulting in six deaths as of Monday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said land border crossings into B.C. have not yet had screening services put in place, as has been done for airport arrivals from Hubei province in China and now Iran. Canadian border agents are providing advice to land travellers from the U.S. to watch for symptoms and isolate themselves if they develop coughing or other symptoms of the novel coronavirus spreading around the world.

People who travel to the U.S. should monitor themselves for symptoms and stay home if they feel ill, but there hasn’t been community transmission in the two Washington counties where the virus has been identified, Henry said.

B.C. remains at eight identified cases, related to travel from China and Iran, and all are isolated at home after checks and testing of the people they contacted. More than 1,000 people have been tested in B.C. as of Monday.

RELATED: B.C. man finally freed from cruise ship quarantine

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“We are very committed to a containment strategy,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

Health Canada describes typical symptoms of the newly emerged coronavirus as headache, coughing, a sore throat and fever. More serious cases can develop into pneumonia, respiratory failure or kidney failure.


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