Coronavirus: B.C. declares public health emergency amid 3 new deaths and 83 new cases

British Columbia has declared a public health emergency, as officials announce 83 new cases of the novel coronavirus and three new deaths.

The province has now recorded a total of 186 cases and seven COVID-19 deaths.

Two of the new deaths are linked to the ongoing outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, while the third was a man in his 80s in the Fraser Health region.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told the daily news conference on Tuesday that the surge in new cases reflects a lag in testing results as a number of new test sites came online, including in hospitals and urgent and primary care centres in the Lower Mainland.

There was a delay in confirming a number of presumptive cases at the BC Centre of Disease Control, she said. Those cases are now confirmed and part of the official count.

Henry said people who tested presumptive positive in that wave were notified at the time, as were public health officials.

She said the province would continue with attempts at containment, including testing and contract tracing, but that B.C. was now moving to a strategy of outbreak mitigation.

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