VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Three new COVID-19 deaths in B.C. reported Tuesday all involved long-term care homes, while the number of staff and residents at such facilities who are infected with coronavirus increased.
As well, the province has redeployed a mobile command unit from the Vancouver Convention Centre to the Abbotsford area to assist with an outbreak at a federal prison in Mission.
The total number of deaths in the province related to COVID-19 is now 72, while 27 new cases have been recorded.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said two of the new deaths occurred in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, while the other was in the Fraser Health region.
She also reported that an additional care home, the South Granville Park Lodge, now has a virus outbreak, bringing the total to 21 such facilities.
Henry said the number of residents and staff at long-term-care and assisted-living facilities increased to 266 from 256 the previous day.
The number of residents went up to 165 from 156.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said uniform wages have been offered to workers at care homes to ensure fairness while employees are banned from dividing their time at more than one facility,
He did not disclose specifics about the unique agreement, which he said was reached last week.
Re: uniform wages offered to workers at care homes to ensure fairness while employees banned from dividing time at more than one facility, @adriandix not disclosing specifics today about unique agreement reached last week.
News conference has ended.
Next update 3pm Wednesday.
The majority of deaths in B.C. continue to be linked to long-term care homes.
Of the more than 1,500 cases of coronavirus, the recovered rate is 62 per cent, up a bit from Monday.
Of those cases, 134 people remain in hospital with COVID-19, including 58 in intensive care.
The number of infected inmates at the Mission Institution remains 41, while seven are in hospital.
Six correctional officers there have also tested positive.
Henry said Abbotsford Regional Hospital has developed a dedicated unit to care for those from the prison. Fraser Health is also looking at deploying the province’s mobile medical unit to help look after patients in a hospital setting, including critical care, if needed, she added.
The unit had been set up at the convention centre in Vancouver.
“But it will be deployed to the Abbotsford area to provide additional support for this ongoing and very concerning outbreak that we have at the Mission correctional facility,” Henry said.
Henry said the Okanagan Correctional Centre continues to have a single case, while three more have been recorded at Bylands Nurseries in West Kelowna, bringing the total there to 23. All involve temporary foreign workers.