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Eighth case of coronavirus announced in B.C.

FILE. Adrian Dix
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
February 29, 2020 - 10:46 AM

A new case of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been reported in B.C.

"We are announcing an eighth case of COVID-19 in B.C. The person affected is visiting from Tehran, Iran and arrived in British Columbia earlier this week. The patient is in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams," Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, said in a joint statement released  today, Feb. 29.

"The individual has been confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) testing."

The person carrying the virus is a woman in her 60s and is staying with family in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. Vancouver Coastal Health is actively investigating the situation and close contacts have been identified and contacted by public health officials.

Those who may be at risk are now in isolation for 14 days and are being actively monitored for symptoms.

"We are pleased to report that three additional patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19 are now fully recovered, for a total of four fully recovered patients," according to the statement.

The other individuals continue to recover in isolation at home and under the care of public health teams. The BCCDC has completed testing on 1,425 samples for 1012 individuals as of Feb. 27, 2020.

"While the risk of spread of COVID-19 within British Columbia remains low at this time, we continue to focus efforts on containing and delaying the spread of transmission, as well as preparing for the possibility of a pandemic. A pandemic is the spread of an illness to a large number of people on a global scale," they said.

"We are asking all British Columbians to do their part to prevent the transmission of infections in our communities and in our health-care system to help protect everyone in B.C."

Similar to how you may need to care for someone with influenza, you want to ensure you have sufficient food, medications and support in place to stay home for a number for days.

Employers are being asked to increase cleaning and hand hygiene availability, in addition to thinking about how they will manage absenteeism through steps such as remote working or virtual meetings.

"The most important measures people can take today is to proactively prevent the transmission of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19," reads the statement.

This includes cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve and disposing of tissues appropriately. It is also very important to stay home and away from others if you or your family are sick.

"We ask all international travellers who are returning to B.C. to monitor themselves and their children closely for symptoms. If any symptoms arise, limit their contact with others and connect with their primary care provider, local public health office or call 811 to determine if COVID-19 testing is needed. This is an important way to reduce the possibility of transmission of illness to others," reads the statement.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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