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Coronavirus: Two more people tested positive in Vancouver Coastal Health region

Four people in the area are now confirmed as having the virus, which has killed 566 people, mostly in China

Two more people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, bringing the provincial total to four.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday afternoon that the two new cases are connected to the woman in her 50s that was revealed Tuesday as being the second confirmed case in the province.

Henry, B.C.'s chief medical health officer, told media that the two new cases are family members of the woman. Henry added that the two new cases are visitors from the Wuhan area, where the virus is believed to have started late last year.

According to Henry, all three people in that household are in self-isolation and are reporting to the health authorities.

She also reiterated Tuesday's advice for people to consider quarantining themselves and their children for 14 days if they have recently travelled back from the Hubei province in China, considered to be the global epicentre of the outbreak.

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix chipped in, saying, "If you're sick, stay away from work, if your kids are sick, stay away from school."

On Tuesday, a second person in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region was confirmed to have coronavirus by provincial health authorities.

The province's chief medical health officer, Henry announced Tuesday that the patient was a woman who has family members visiting from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak started.

The patient and family members from Wuhan were in isolation at her home. 

Henry told media that the woman is in her 50s and became ill a few days ago.

She is understood to have visited a local hospital to get checked out before returning home to isloate herself.

The Richmond News previously asked the B.C. Ministry of Health to explain why the patients' city of residence is not being given.

We were told by a ministry spokesperson that “in order to maintain the privacy of the patient, we are not releasing their location at this time.”

Henry said tests carried out on the woman came back "presumptive positive" last night, with a second test being carried out at a national lab in Winnipeg.

It's not yet clear if any of the family members from Wuhan — who flew to the Vancouver area before Chinese officials locked down the area — were symptomatic when they arrived.

"Those details are still being worked on. VCH is doing the investigation today to trace back their movements and to see if they've had contact with anyone else," added Henry.

"However, they were well aware of (the coronavirus outbreak) and were limiting their contact with people outside the home."

Henry said the woman is doing well and is in isolation at her home.



As for the Canadian government's flight carrying Canadians out of the Wuhan area of China to Trenton, Ont. — expected to depart Thursday — Henry said the likes of Richmond Hospital is ready to receive any patients, if they need urgent medical care during the fuel stop at YVR.

Last Friday, the province said it had tested 114 samples for the virus, but only one case had been confirmed.

That patient — who also lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region which includes Richmond, Vancouver and north along the Sea-to-Sky to Bella Coola — is a man in his 40s who recently travelled to Wuhan. He is also at home in isolation. 

There are now seven confirmed cases in Canada. The other three are in Ontario. 

As of today, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 28,000 people and killed 566. While most of the deaths have been in mainland China, where the virus originated in Wuhan in December, both the Philippines and Hong Kong announced their first death from the virus this week. 

The World Health Organization also announced Tuesday that it has confirmed 27 cases of the virus, in nine countries, have spread person-to-person.