B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates COVID-19 efforts, June 1, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates COVID-19 efforts, June 1, 2020. (B.C. government)

28 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. including baby in neonatal intensive care unit

Health officials announce outbreak at St. Paul’s Hospital, a case at Site C Dam, more cases in Kelowna

B.C. has recorded 28 new COVID-19 cases as health officials work to curb a number of new exposures, including a new outbreak at the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

In an unscheduled news conference on Friday (July 17), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that a baby in the NICU ward has tested positive for the novel coronavirus but isn’t showing any symptoms at this time.

St. Paul’s NICU provides 24-hour care for premature babies and other newborns with health problems that require specialized attention. Restrictions have been put in place limiting visitors and the area is being thoroughly cleaned.

“Contact tracing is ongoing to determine how the virus was introduced into people in the NICU and Vancouver Coastal Health is investigating with St. Paul’s,” Henry said, adding that some families have been contacted and are self-isolating.

Henry said that other exposures include at the Site C Dam work site where one worker from Alberta has tested positive, as well as four confirmed cases connected to a cherry farm in Oliver.

READ MORE: Alberta worker at B.C.’s Site C dam tests positive for COVID-19

Cases linked to the ongoing exposure at a number of downtown Kelowna establishments have also increased to 35.

“We anticipate there will be more cases in the coming days as people who were exposed are now starting to develop symptoms,” Henry said, adding that she has been in discussion with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran to come up with a plan to curb further spread but stopped short of detailing specifics.

ALSO READ: 35 COVID-19 infections linked to Kelowna parties around Canada Day

As of Friday, B.C. has 207 active confirmed cases with eighteen in hospital. Two people are in intensive care. Henry announced no new deaths, keeping the total at 189.

“As you know with this virus, once you have been exposed there is nothing we can do to prevent you from developing disease we just need to wait it out and ensure that if you do get sick that you are not passing it on to others and that’s how break these chains of transmission,” Henry said.

For the top doctor, the flare ups and surge in cases in the past five days is a concern.

“It’s not necessarily unexpected but it is a warning to us that we need to do more to keep things in balance,” she said.

“This is one of the reasons I felt the need to speak today. Many of these new cases are people in their 20s and 30s and transmission is directly connected to those very important social events.”

Symptoms related to COVID-19 are less severe in younger people compared to the elderly, which means some may not know they are ill or contagious.

“But they can still spread the virus to others and your ability to spread that virus is just as high or higher as older people,” Henry said, calling on younger generations to use their influence on social media to encourage safe social practises.

“Don’t let COVID steal your summer.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The rebranding project under which the new logo and website have been launched, began in 2019. (Lakes District News photo)
Village of Burns Lake gets a new digital look

Launches its new logo and website

A room at the BC ALS Clinic in the dreary basement of GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. (Greg Gowe photo/Lakes District News)
Hope through ALS clinincal trials needed in the province, says B.C. man

Greg Gowe, diagnosed with ALS calls on the government for better treatment options

The Chamber currently has a total of 136 members of which 16 joined in 2020 alone. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce to host an open house in February

Has started making plans for events to host in 2021

Antoine Tom with the bake sale items that helped him raise $1,000. (Sabrina Tom photo/Lakes District News)
12-year-old local boy dubbed ‘kindness hero’

Raises money for classmate who lost his home

Village council meets in person, shares the meeting with the community via zoom. (Lakes District News photo)
Village council meets with newly installed plexiglass dividers

General public to continue attending meetings virtually

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
WKE students get a new fire pit. (WKE photo/Lakes District News)
WKE students’ fireside education

William Konkin Elementary (WKE) school recently got a new fire pit installed.… Continue reading

Most Read