Taking temperature: April 23 COVID-19 update

In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that a new community outbreak has been identified at the Superior Poultry plant in Coquitlam, with two positive cases so far.

Following yesterday’s biggest single-day jump in cases since March 28, there are 29 new cases of COVID-19 and 4 new deaths from the virus in BC today. The total number of cases in the province is currently at 1,824. Of those cases, 755 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority region.

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will be spending $1.1 billion on vaccine and virus research. The majority of the funding will go towards research, testing and development of a vaccine at Canadian hospitals and universities. A smaller portion will go towards modelling the spread of COVID-19 across Canada.

“A vaccine is the long-term solution to this virus. But these drugs will take months to develop, test, fabricate and roll out. So until we have something ready, we need to control the spread of the virus,” said Trudeau.

In today’s briefing, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that a new community outbreak has been identified at the Superior Poultry plant in Coquitlam, with two positive cases so far. Superior is the sister plant to the United Poultry Company, where 29 people have tested positive for the virus. The Fraser Health Authority is conducting ongoing investigation and testing at the site as they monitor both plants.

Henry also announced two new positive COVID-19 cases at the federal correctional facility in Mission. This brings the total number of positive cases at the facility to 78 inmates and staff.

►  Play video
Video

Henry once again reminded British Columbians of our joint responsibility in managing the spread of the virus. This responsibility should be even more front of mind, she suggested, as the province moves to increase social and economic connections in the coming weeks.

The province has developed a public health order with information on the re-opening of the agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and resource industries. The order will provide guidance on managing these sites based on the province’s observation of both successful and unsuccessful sites that remained operational during the outbreak. The order will also outline appointing an infection prevention and control coordinator at these sites.

This order is set to be released later today.

No advisories on social distancing have been lifted yet, but as advisories become more lenient in the future, Henry reminded citizens that a period with more social connections will be just as difficult as the current period of social distancing. She urged citizens to continue making intentional decisions about who they come into contact with.

“A misstep in the wrong direction puts us all at risk because we have seen how quickly this virus can take hold,” said Henry.

“We are going to be living with COVID-19 in our communities for some time. And we need to develop our way of managing that and living with that.”

Stay up to date on UBC information related to COVID-19 by visiting ubyssey.ca/covid-19, the websites of the BCCDC, the Public Health Agency of Canada or the World Health Organization. The province has set up a dedicated COVID-19 phone line at 1-888-COVID19 or text at 1-888-268-4319. For updates on UBC’s response to COVID-19, visit ubc.ca/campus-notifications/