Six health care workers who work at Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver have now tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, health officials have announced.
The announcement brings to 10 the number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the past week through either direct or indirect contact with the North Vancouver care home.
The health care workers are in addition to the two elderly residents who contracted the virus late last week. One of those residents, a man in his 80s, became Canada’s first coronavirus fatality when he died Sunday night. The other resident, a woman in her 70s, is in stable condition.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, announced the latest infections among health care workers at Lynn Valley Care Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The health care workers are a man in his 20s who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and a woman in her 50s who lives in the Fraser Health Region. Both of those people are recovering in isolation at home, Henry said.
The four health care workers who tested positive for coronavirus earlier are also recovering at home in isolation.
In the case of the first care worker, two other members of her household, a man in his 50s and a teenaged boy, have also tested positive and are isolated at home.
Health authorities believe the first health care worker contracted the virus from someone else who came into the care home, but they still have not confirmed how the virus was picked up, said Henry.
“There’s been a number of theories that are being chased down. We do not yet have a theory we can share,” she said.
Henry said health officials have stepped up screening at the care home for both visitors and care workers, which includes “making sure nobody comes in who has any respiratory symptoms.”
Care workers and residents at the care home are being monitored, she said.
As a result of the outbreak, health care workers at the Lynn Valley Care Centre – who might usually work at a number of different care centres – are restricted to working only at the Lynn Valley centre, said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
The government is working to “support” those workers, said Dix.
Henry said workers at the care centre are following guidelines from the B.C. Centre of Disease Control on when they should wear masks. There are provisions in place for those workers to put on masks if they start to feel sick during their shift, she said.
The number of cases in B.C. now sits at 46, including seven new cases announced on Wednesday.