COVID-19 deaths spike, Kelowna business has outbreak 

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

click to enlarge Public health officer Bonnie Henry | BC Government
  • Public health officer Bonnie Henry | BC Government

MB.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 is the highest number of deaths since the beginning of the outbreak. It brings the total death rate in B.C. to 24. All but one of the deaths has been residents of long-term care homes, and most were in their 70s or 80s, Henry said.

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 investing "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 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)



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