COVID-19 deaths spike, Kelowna farm has outbreak

B.C. has had five deaths since yesterday bringing death total to 24

B.C. has had a spike in deaths from COVID-19, and a plant nursery in Kelowna has been shut down after an outbreak among temporary foreign farm workers.

The five deaths since Monday are the highest number of deaths since the beginning of the outbreak. It brings the total death rate in B.C. to 24.

article continues below

There have been 43 additional COVID-19 cases since Monday, bringing the total to 1,013. Of that number, 128 are in hospital, 61 in intensive care and 570 recovered.

Public health officer Bonnie Henry said Interior Health is investigating "our first large community outbreak, which involves a group of temporary foreign workers in housing at a West Kelowna agricultural business.

The business is Bylands Nursery.

"This business has been closed to customers," Henry said.

Henry did not say how many of the temporary foreign workers have tested positive for the virus.

Asked how long it may be before some of the restrictions on work, travel and socializing might be lifted, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said there was "zero" chance that it will be before the end of April. And even if there is a reprieve by summertime, Henry said restrictions might have to go back into place in the fall, if there is a second wave in the pandemic.

Here are the numbers for Tuesday, March 31, with numbers for the last 48-hour reporting period (March 29 and 30) in brackets:

New -  43 (86)

Total – 1,013 (970)

Total deaths – 24 (19)

Hospitalized – 128 (106)

In intensive care – 61 (60)

Recovered – 570 (396)

More to come 

Read Related Topics

© Richmond News

Read more from the Business in Vancouver