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 to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Kelowna’s Rock the Lake officially postponed until 2021

The new dates have been scheduled for August 6-8, 2021

Driver damages Chase playground after alleged pellet gun shooting

RCMP report vehicle drove through Memorial Park before coming to a stop

Salmon Arm’s Alexander Street to be open to foot traffic only on Saturdays

Downtown Salmon Arm announces plan to provide more space for restaurants, other businesses

Salmon Arm RCMP seek to reunite Fender guitar with owner

Police ask for owners of items to call detachment

Kelowna couple pedalling past loss of sight

Pauline and Jim Marshall said it’s important to be patient with each other

Owner of Kelowna country bar permanently closes Langley cabaret

Nightclub showcased local talent, connected friends, and even hosted a wedding during its 34 years

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Only 35 per cent of students returning to Vernon schools

Only 30 per cent of secondary students going back June 1 and 50 per cent of elementary

Princeton officially becomes ’Bronze Statue Capital of Canada’

“We are going to come out of this fine.” That’s the opinion… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with murder of Alberta man

A second man is also wanted in connection with the first degree murder of Cody Michaloski

LETTER: Summerland solar project should be reviewed

Questions raised about feasibility of proposed power project

New ‘smart city’ 5G technology to be installed in Kelowna next week

‘This is an exciting opportunity for Kelowna to build on the work we’re doing to bring smart city technologies to our city’ - Mayor Colin Basran

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read