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

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

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

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

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

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Most Read