A laboratory technical assistant at LifeLabs, handles a specimen to be tested for COVID-19 after scanning its barcode upon receipt at the company’s lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records 26 more COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths as Alberta oilsands project causes concern

There have been at least 15 cases in B.C. linked to the Kearl Lake project in northern Alberta

Two more people have died due to COVID-19 in B.C., provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Saturday (May 2), as well as 26 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

As B.C. continues to report downward trends in the number of new cases being introduced into the province, Henry said a particular outbreak – at the Kearl Lake oilsands in Alberta – has proven particularly challenging for health officials.

Fifteen cases in B.C., and 12 in Alberta, have been linked to the project.

“We know there are a large number of people who work in that project in northern Alberta and we know there continues to be cases identified in Alberta and here in B.C.,” Henry said during her mid-day news conference.

In mid-March, Henry announced that anyone returning from the project to B.C. would need to self-isolate for 14 days.

But many workers continue to be going back and forth between the project and their homes, Henry noted, and those people – including their families and people they live with – still need to follow the rules set out by officials.

“We know that sometimes it is very challenging in those settings to know who has been in contact with whom,” she continued, adding that there has been transmitted cases between workers and family members.

The new cases on Saturday bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 2,171. Of those who have tested positive, 1,376 have recovered.

Henry said there were no new outbreaks at long-term care homes while protocols remain in place at 21 active outbreaks within care home facilities across the province. Three acute-care units also remain under outbreak protocols.

Two more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry – the latest packing plant to see an outbreak. That facility has been closed indefinitely while Superior Poultry and United Poultry also remain shuttered. Fifty-two and 35 employees have tested positive at those plants, respectively.

Broken down by region, there are now 832 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 992 in Fraser Health, 123 in Vancouver Island Health, 175 in Interior Health and 49 in Northern Health.

More to come.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Playgrounds reopen in Sooke

The move comes two months after facilities were shut down during the height of COVID-19 pandemic

Sooke food security initiative grows local interest

Around 30 grow-at-home kits handed out to Sooke residents

Sooke Food Bank takes steps towards ‘new norm’

Need for Sooke Food Bank nearly doubles since beginning of pandemic

Accessibility for disabled still an issue in Sooke

Room for improvement, says councillor

B.C. Conservation kills bear in Langford amid growing problem of habituation

Officer demands garbage lockdown for residents in bear territory

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read